Essential skills for aspiring leaders: Awareness

Save your team by having more awareness: being aware of what is happening in-and-out of your team will change your life and earn you the respect of your team.

Leaders are built – not born.

No one is born a great leader or manager. They learn, adapt, grow, hone skills and improve – sometimes by trial and error over time.

Be focused and curious – always!

I can attest from my experience that being focused and curious are key. Focus on key strengths and be inquisitive at every opportunity to grow and develop that strength.

Finding out where to focus and what to be curious about can be a challenge.

Based on my personal experience, these are the 5 essential skills that aspiring leaders and managers need to be successful.

The big 5!

#1 Awareness

#2 Communication

#3 Courage

#4 Humbleness

#5 Ownership

I will dive into the nitty-gritty of these in separate posts.

Work hard, stay focused and develop your strengths. This worked for me and it just might work for you too.

Today’s post is #1 on my list – Awareness. To hone your skills and learn about the other essential skills, click on the links above.

#1 Awareness

Awareness as a leader is essential
Observe from a distance – what do you see?

Being aware of what is happening inside and outside of your team will help you to be successful. Although not an easy skill to learn – it can be learnt.

Busy being busy…

If you are too busy with your to-do list, head in emails or stuck in back-to-back meetings you will miss an opportunity to see what may be heading your or your team’s way. However, if you do see it, you can then act on it – instead of reacting to it!

6 ‘secret ingredient’ awareness actions

  • Listen – listen to what your team are saying and what others are saying about your team.
  • Observe – observe from a distance what is going on in your team. Are there any pain-points? What is going on outside of your team? Will it hinder or help you? What do others need?
  • Ask – ask others for a team/employee culture ‘health check’ – how are people feeling? Are people feeling positive? If yes, why? If not… why?
  • Be curious – ask ‘why’ questions about a company direction. Why a process is followed or the progress of a certain strategy. Asking why questions allows you to learn a lot – quickly.
  • Get invited – be aware of what is happening in other areas of the company and what opportunities this may present for your team. If there’s a change in direction that may affect your team it’s up to you to be proactive. Make sure you get a seat at the table when the planning team next meet.
  • Look in the mirror – be aware of your behaviour, including how and what you say out aloud.  Drive a certain perception your staff (and others) have of you. Who are you as a leader? Self-reflect and if you’re not sure – ask someone you trust “how would you define my leadership style?”


Slow down and look around now and then. Assess what you see and hear and solve the problems of your team.

Mastering this strength will help you on your way to become a successful leader and earn you points from the team.

I can say from experience that being aware of what the team’s focus is for the day will earn you a lot of respect and make you feel more in control and ready to tackle challenges.

In the next post I will talk about the next essential strength aspiring managers and leaders need to be successful – #2 Communication – over-communicate the good news!

Never stop learning,



  1. Lee October 28, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Thanks really interesting

  2. Pingback: Essential skills for aspiring leaders: round-up – Clear Coaching Institute

  3. Pingback: Essential skills for aspiring leaders: Ownership – Clear Coaching Institute

  4. Pingback: Essential skills for aspiring leaders: Humbleness – Clear Coaching Institute

  5. Pingback: Essential skills for aspiring leaders: Courage – Clear Coaching Institute

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