Self-Awareness: Personal Insight That Changed Me Forever

This past year, I completed the DISC program. It was not the first time I had done it, yet the results were an interesting surprise—not only for me but also for my team.

Self-Awareness: Personal Insight That Changed Me Forever
Do not index
Do not index
This past year, I completed the DISC program. It was not the first time I had done it, yet the results were an interesting surprise—not only for me but also for my team.
Rewind about decade. I was an annoying, think-I-have-it-figured-out, and don’t-understand-why-everyone-can’t-keep-up leader. I was impatient, easily frustrated, and generally irritated about the perceived incompetence around me. Yea, I was THAT guy.
It was a pivotal moment for me in my career—a crossroads of sorts. I was delivering what I considered as amazing results. I had built a great team of all-stars, and they were doing pretty innovative stuff, even if I never told them how great they were.
One day, my boss pulls me in and recommends I get a 360 degree review. I guess there was some feedback he was hearing from others, and he wanted me to better understand it for self-improvement.
I went in thinking this was going to be just your standard everyone is happy, you are doing great, yada yada yada. Turns out it wasn’t. I guess I learned how bad my general lack of self-awareness was. And while I was having what seemed like great success, the bridges I was burning would soon leave me stuck out on an island somewhere—by myself.
So I had a choice. I could listen to the feedback and attempt to accept and address it, or I could ignore it. I chose to address it. Perhaps if tons of people were saying I wasn’t good at something, maybe there was something there.
With this in mind, I made some pretty big changes in my life and career. Firstly, I needed to find someone that was good at what I wasn’t and then go work for them. So I did that. I took a temporary step back in my career (or that’s how I saw it at the time) and found someone I knew was great at my gaps.
Secondly, I got a career coach, Steve Gutzler. I thought that my basketball coach helped me get better in sports, so perhaps I needed something like that for my career. It turns out everyone probably needs a coach.
You might be wondering what the areas were that everyone thought I was not that great at. Well, here you go:
  1. People - listening, supporting, enabling
  1. Emotional Intelligence
  1. Collaboration
  1. Influencing
For me, it was a blow. I was surprised by this, especially as I loved people and really appreciated them. (Well, in my mind at least.)  I was not the best at telling people these things.
One of the first things my career coach had me do was a few different personality profiles. The goal was to better understand who I was and then consider how that played out on a daily basis. The side benefit was that I might find that I am acting certain ways that are not in alignment with what I think and feel.
It was a telling moment. I learned a ton about myself, who I thought I was, and who I wanted to become. It was at this time that I wrote down my first ever core values and ethos statement. And shortly thereafter, I wrote down a leadership charter and a group of principles that would help me become a leader.
As with real life, this is not a fairy tale. Recognition and immediate action does not mean instantaneous evolution. It was the beginning of a journey—one that I am still on today—one that I will be on for some time.
Fast forward back to today. The surprising results from my DISC profile was that many of the things I have been working on for 10+ years have naturally worked themselves into my everyday life, work habits, and behaviors. These changes have allowed me to collaborate and co-create a successful present and future with a team of very different and diverse individuals—a team I absolutely respect and adore.
The message I think about as I write this is to be who you want to be and dream to be. It is possible. It will take time, failures, hard work, and many moments of small successes sewn together over many years.
Each of you have it in you—to become the person you want to be. Grab it, own it, and know that all of those around you are there to coach and assist along the way.
Jerry Leisure is a Customer Success leader that believes the heart of every company is their customer. He can be reached via LinkedIn , @J2leisure on Twitter or [email protected]

Ready to take the next big step for your business?

Join other 2,490+ entrepreneurs, CX pros, and gamers who get my weekly newsletter now!


Written by

Jonathan Shroyer
Jonathan Shroyer

Chief CX Officer at Arise Gaming