I believe that an organization’s interior development starts from the practices of having self-knowledge, consciousness and self-awareness. According to Generator Group, leaders who have strong self-awareness know how to better their strengths and take control of their weaknesses. They seek for credibility and develop relationships based on trust and respect.
And they are open-minded about new ideas and criticism. More interestingly, leaders who foster self-awareness model the same practices and values for the employees and the organization as a whole. An organization that values self-awareness seek for credibility, trust and respect. Such an organization is open to new ideas and change when necessary; and it “rewards flexibility, inquisitiveness, and innovation” (Generator Group). Think of the leader as the brain and the organization as the body. If the brain knows its strengths and weaknesses well, opens to new ideas and willing to change for the better, and the body listens to it and is willing to change, then organizational change is the result. An example of a leader that I aspire to become is the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh. Tony has turned a company with a gross profit of over a million dollar in 2001 to a point in 2009 when Amazon.
com bought Zappos for $1.2 billion. He is a great example of an ethical and self-awared leader. In his interview with OPEN Forum, he advised young people to always be true to themselves, follow their passion and choose happiness over money or society’s expectations. What makes Tony himself today is the result of his self awareness.
He has always tried to be open minded, humble and willing to adapt to new perspectives. Another reason why Tony is a great leader is his creation of Zappos, the company that is worldwidely known among top organizations for providing best customer service and being one of the best places to work. Zappos strongly commits to its company culture, hiring and firing people based on the organization’s values. When being asked about the accomplishment that CEO Tony Hsieh most proud of, he said it is the culture he and his company has built over the years at Zappos. “A really large number of the relationships that exist at Zappos are true friendships, not just co-worker relationships. Most employees when they leave the office, leave to go hang out with other Zappos employees. That’s really hard to find at companies our size”, said Tony.
The company’s culture is unlike the culture of the big corporations, their values are about core values such as delivering WOW customer service, embracing change, fun, creativeness and being open minded, building a positive team and family spirit, and being passionate, determined and humble.