Last Updated Sep 7, 2010 6:58 PM EDT
A leader is born when a manager (or anyone, for that matter) learns to look inward and assess and build on one's own strengths and weaknesses, moral compass, and understanding of right from wrong.
Here's how leadership expert Bill George, on the faculty at HBS, looks at the need for executive introspection, what he terms "mindful leadership."
"Mindfulness is a state of being fully present, aware of oneself and other people, and sensitive to one's reactions to stressful situations. Leaders who are mindful tend to be more effective in understanding and relating to others, and motivating them toward shared goals. Hence, they become more effective in leadership roles."In a blog post on HBR.org called For a Better Career Outlook, Look Inward, leadership consultant Sharon Daniels observes:
"There are times at work when we tend to be on autopilot, repeating what we do without asking why. At these times we need to step back and reflect on our habits. A look inward will not only give you a better knowledge of what makes you tick, but will help you understand others' motivations better. It also will help you make sounder intuitive decisions, a highly valuable ability these days when change is accelerating and you have to act without having all the information you want."So next time you wonder what you need to become a great leader, stat by looking for answers within rather than from the latest management book or seminar.