(From the chapter "The Self-Aware Leader," as written by Mark L. Vincent)
Extensive self-examination does not mean self-centeredness. Rather, it is a deep pilgrimage into understanding one’s boundaries and capacities to serve others, learning which part of one’s self to set aside and which to carry forward—knocking the barnacles off, so to speak—in order to live in loving service to God and neighbor.
This means the leader needs to develop an understanding of love languages and basic temperament, perhaps through the use of personality tests like the Enneagram, Strengths-Finders, Colby, or Meyers-Briggs. Perhaps the leader should also be working with a therapist, an executive coach or spiritual director, or joining a peer-based advising team, spending time in silent retreat or gathering a clearing committee. This is not merely to gain self-insight. Self-examination as the beginning and end of the journey is selfish. Instead, it is to use acquired insight to heighten one’s capacity to serve.
The inward journey to understand self is turned toward service and focused outward—as if it is a rubber band stretched before being propelled across the room to its destination. Think of it as grace received so that grace can be offered. Understand it as calling clarified so that it can be recognized and clarified in others. Practice it as being present with and accepting one’s self in order to have cultivated the skill to be present with
Selfish is distracted and elsewhere. Selfish has something better to do.
Self-less (self-aware) is present in the moment. The moment the self is in is precious in its own right.
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