In the ancient classical world, rulers and statesmen consulted the oracle at Delphi about important decisions. At the entrance to the oracle’s temple, a stone inscription read gnothi seauton, or “know thyself”. Of the 147 maxims inscribed on the temple’s walls, Socrates declared this one the most essential: to “know thyself”, or self-awareness, is the beginning of all wisdom.
Today, self-awareness remains a key leadership strength. Self-aware leaders understand how their behaviors impact their team, peers, and other key stakeholders. This equips them to create psychological safety, which is directly linked to high performance in teams (Edmondson, 1999).