A Self-Aware Leader Is The One Who Marvels At The Role Luck Has Played In Their Life.
It is never a good idea to assume superiority due to your accomplishments, regardless of how impressive they may look to the external world.
First and foremost, nothing is permanent, and any accomplishment and the perks that come with it only describe a temporary situation someone happens to be in.
That is why it is a good idea to practice in our minds the genuine possibility that this might all go away. Because sooner or later, it will. The Stoics call this art of negative thinking Premeditatio Malorum, developing resilience through the mental exercise of visualizing things that can go wrong or be taken from us. As Seneca wrote, ‘We should project our thoughts ahead of us at every turn and have in mind every possible eventuality instead of only the usual course of events.’
Secondly, because you still need to build that.
You might have worked hard, had an excellent academic record, and had an impressive IQ. So what? There are many hard-working, intelligent, and very creative people in this competitive world with outstanding academic credentials, too. We must recognize that in all our accomplishments, there is this element of serendipity, of being in the right place at the right moment, for which we can take very little credit. We cannot deny that luck plays a significant role in helping us achieve many of our goals.
Thirdly, a healthy humility will prepare you to face future setbacks and avoid being crushed by any minor failure.
This means not feeling self-important due to your successes but being humble and willing to pay them forward and help others in need. Don’t detach yourself from others, but remember how similar you are to them and how fickle fortune is. One day, you might be trading places.
Lastly, a self-aware leader is a humble one.
Humility is not a matter of low self-esteem and poor self-image. Humility is about recognizing the truth about oneself and our accomplishments, which entails recognizing our limitations and gifts, our role in making things happen, and the role chance played in our successes.
C.S. Lewis defined humility as not thinking less of yourself but thinking less about yourself. Sometimes, it is very comforting to forget about ourselves and focus outward on others. And the more we acknowledge that fortune is fickle, that our achievements are not only ours, and that we are not different from those in need, the better leaders we will become.