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Management and Leadership in Nonprofits

Management and Leadership in Nonprofits


Leadership self-awareness

May 06, 2020
By: Tammy T. Jelinek
Leadership self-awareness

Have you ever had a conversation and someone says, “I am a blue” or “I am a type A” or “I am a….”? You get the drift.

There are a lot of assessments out there. And no, I am not referring to the ones you take on FB.

Why do we care to know if we, as leaders, are assertive, patient, impatient, verbally process, internally process, like details, prefer bullet-points, etc.? Because how we lead will directly impact our team. Sometimes for good, sometimes not.

Our firm uses a behavioral assessment called Predictive Index. All associates take the survey when they are hired. We use it to learn about natural behaviors and work styles. We use it to discuss the values we each bring to the team. Sometimes we use it as tool to manage a different motivation style from your own. It’s a leadership self-awareness tool that I appreciate having in my toolbox.

We are rolling out a lite version of it (like a 2.5-hour investment of time for 5-10 leaders in a team) to help with resilience education as leadership groups start the “new normal.”

We had a refresher on it this week.

How often do you take the time to remind yourself of what you already know? 

This reflection reminded me where I am strong in resiliency and where, if I am not careful, my natural instincts and work style tendencies can be negative to others.

It also reminded me the tools in my toolbox to use to help me be a leader who is self-aware. Ask yourself the following and think of the tools you have in your toolbox:

  • What are my triggers? Words that people use that make you mad, or shutdown, or just deplete you of energy.
  • What are my strengths that others could use right now? Humor, patience, urgency, kindness, planning, the ability to change quickly, or see the big picture, or know the details, etc.
  • What am I not happy about right now that I can control? How I spend my time, my short temper, not eating well, working too much, watching too much on demand, etc.
  • What do I need to do better tomorrow? Plan my day, exercise, prioritize focus work, give my team a pep talk, get myself mentally ready for the next shoe to drop, be excited about the possibilities, use the tools in my toolbox!

What are the leadership self-awareness tools in your toolbox? Please share.

Wishing you a great day and remember: Lead with legacy –



Tammy T. Jelinek, MBA
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