A message from Xan Pearson:

New Year’s Resolutions. How many of us dedicated time in December for reflection and self-awareness with the goal of resolving any number of worthy endeavors, only to discover those earnest commitments to self-improvement have fallen victim once again to distraction and lack of focus?  

What if self-awareness and goal setting weren’t exercises we did once a year? What if we considered honest reflection and insight an essential part of our daily lives? What if, as business leaders, we took the time to learn how to be more self-aware?  

In her book, Insight, Dr. Tasha Eurich asserts that self-awareness is one of the foundations for effective leadership. Without it, she maintains it is impossible to master the skills most critical for success. In her research, she discovered that although 95% of leaders consider themselves self-aware, the actual number is closer to 10% -15%. The irony in that statistic is at the same time both amusing and alarming.  

The problem is that we are doing it wrong. According to Dr. Eurich, there are two types of self-awareness—internal and external. We tend to spend a lot of time on the first and very little on the second. Do we truly know how others perceive us, and does it match our own internal insights? Eurich says for 85% -90% of people, the answer is no. An even more surprising result of her research indicates that the more senior we become as a leaders, the less self-aware we are likely to be. Why? Because fewer people who work for us are willing to share their honest perceptions about us.  

For years one of my favorite quotes has been by Carl Jung – “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens.”  But in her book, Insight, Dr. Eurich provides scientific evidence that this oversimplifies the process of self-awareness. In fact, we must also look outside of ourselves to fully understand others’ perceptions of us and the impact we have. As she astutely points out, self-awareness is a prism, not a mirror. With all due respect to Dr. Jung, one of the greatest thinkers of all time, I will need to adjust my mantra.  

So how do we become more self-aware? It requires a commitment to remove the proverbial rose-colored glasses and cultivate two key qualities: humility and vulnerability. Truly understanding our strengths and weaknesses while seeking and embracing unbiased insights from others are both vital to achieving self-awareness. Developing self-awareness—knowing who we are and how others see us—can help us be more fulfilled, confident, and successful in life and work. This is a focus of one our programs: our Personal & Professional Development Forums (PDF). Members love the insights and accountability this program provides. As leaders they can learn how to model that behavior to their employees, which, according to Dr. Eurich, is one of the first steps in creating a more self-aware team and company. 

Last year, CTLF as an organization spent a lot of time on both internal and external self-awareness, analyzing ourselves and our operations as well as seeking input from our members and listening carefully to their insights. We all know transitions take time and change can sometimes be challenging, but that work has proven invaluable—our community is growing!  

CTLF membership has increased 50% over the past year. We will continue to turn those insights into action in 2023, launching some new free events for members, providing more opportunities for our members to connect with the broader CTLF community, and providing more quality thought leadership content. If you missed our member survey last month, we would greatly appreciate you taking the time to share your insights by providing feedback.  

For 2023, you’ll notice themes of insight and awareness at some of our events. Approaching quickly are two events we expect to sell out. On February 1, we are hosting a fireside chat with Tez Steinberg, An Ocean of Insight: Turn Ambition into Action. Tez is an endurance artist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, consultant, and the only person in history to row a boat alone from California to Hawaii with no prior sailing or rowing experience. Tez will openly share his journey with us, from experiencing depression to becoming a world-record athlete. He will also share powerful tools and techniques to develop resilience in pursuit of our most audacious goals.  

On April 20, Dr. Tasha Eurich will deliver our spring keynote, “The Power of Insight: How Self-Awareness Helps Leaders Connect & Grow.” Tasha is an organizational psychologist, researcher, and New York Times best-selling author. Her life’s work is to help people become the best of who they are and what they do. With a reputation as a candid yet compassionate voice in the self-improvement space, Tasha pairs her scientific grounding in human behavior with a pragmatic approach to personal development. 

Recognized as the world’s leading self-awareness coach, organizational culture expert, and communication expert, Tasha is the principal of The Eurich Group, a boutique firm that helps companies—from start-ups to Fortune 100 firms—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders and teams. Her latest book, Insight, explores the connection between self-awareness and success. Hailed as a “bold, exhilarating take on self-improvement” by Success Magazine and a “fascinating read” by The Guardian, Insight was selected by Brené Brown as one of her personal leadership/business books, and famed Wharton professor Adam Grant calls it one of the three books he recommends most often. 

Tasha has contributed to Harvard Business Review, TED.com, CNBC, The Guardian, and Entrepreneur magazine. Her work has been featured in media outlets like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Forbes, NBC, CNN, BBC, and NPR as well as peer-reviewed journals. Her TEDx talks have been viewed more than nine million times. 

If you want to learn more about Tez’s journey or Dr. Tasha Eurich’s process and tools for becoming more self-aware, you can register for the events here. We expect these to sell out, so register early. And if you are interested in hearing more about our Personal & Professional Development Forums, reach out to Robert for more information.