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In one of my early posts (Design For Life) I wrote about planning for the future and creating a vision for your ideal life.

Recently, I’ve been reading the excellent “Primal Leadership” by Daniel Goleman et al where he describes the theory of self-directed learning. As I read it I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the first stage of this process and my post.

For a minute I felt pretty intelligent!

But as I read on I realised there was much more to self-directed learning than just creating the idealised view. The next stage is particularly important – asking yourself “Who Are You?”

Most of us think we have a good view on who we are and our leadership qualities. But like most things, we tend to only see what we want to see. Ego creates self-delusion as a way of protecting us from the full reality.

Whilst this may create a sense of comfort it isn’t always helpful as we grow to become better leaders.

The only true way to overcome this is by getting the feedback of others. The use of 360o feedback that brings out both our positive and negative traits is the most effective way of improving our self-awareness. Identifying the gaps between our ideal self and who we really are.

So, if you really want to grow, ask yourself “Who are you?” …. and ask others too!

About the song:

Originally written and released in 1978, the song was apparently inspired by a drunken incident involving Paul Cook and Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols! If you aren’t familiar with The Who but know this song it’s probably because you’ve picked it up as the theme tune to CSI: Crime Scene Intelligence.