Page 103 | Volume 1 | The Leadership Journal of Dallas Baptist University

103 TOWARD A GENERAL THEORY OF SELF-AWARENESS FACTORS Factor 1: Live Humbly Humility can be expressed as a matter of reflection. For the efforts of self-awareness to be productive, one must not believe him or herself or his or her actions to be superior to other views. Here is the intersection of humility and reflection. Reflection, a foundational factor for the acquisition of self-awareness, is impossible without humility. “Selfawareness requires self-reflection of assumptions and the impact of those assumptions on others.”54 It is not only general but specific reflection within the context and assumptions of oneself that provides a step toward self-knowledge. Morgan agreed within the positive effects of self-reflective practice, citing the importance of humility in the process.55 Ashley and Reiter-Palmon suggested humility can produce openness to intervention in understanding one’s pathway of decisions.56 The premise is self-awareness is a skill that can be developed. Skill development in self-awareness requires a sense of humility that will produce openness to a range of interventions. A humility that produces self-awareness also exhibits a lack of defensiveness. This lack of defensiveness is an essential pairing with openness to intervention. It would be counterproductive for an individual to be open but defensive, or lack defensiveness yet be closed to intervention. “Self-aware leaders understand who they are and what they want to achieve. Instead of becoming defensive about the blind spots, they accept them, transform themselves, and thrive as leaders.”57 Transforming a blind spot or an intervention area is vital to the process of development but is not possible without a heightened sense of humility. Those in leadership have a particularly difficult struggle with this aspect of humility because it is assumed in many cases that leaders are supposed to be competent and should not exhibit a sense of weakness. Defensiveness is a cancer to humility and will prohibit the development of self-awareness. The realization of humility will bring a profound recognition of interdependence with each other and with the world around us.58 Factor 2: Become a Learner Self-aware individuals exhibit a general desire to learn about themselves. The self-awareness of a leader clarifies his or her THE IMPORTANCE AND IMPACT OF SELF-AWARENESS IN LEADERS