019 The Importance of Self-Awareness in Leadership with guest Sara Gallagher



Today’s guest is Sara Gallagher. Sara is the Vice President of Client Delivery, a Senior Consultant, Speaker, and Learning Facilitator at The Persimmon Group.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • The lessons she’s learned and unlearned during her career,
  • Impostor syndrome, mindfulness, and self-awareness,
  • The importance of self-inquiry,
  • Time/Energy Management, and a lot more.

Click that play button to listen, and don’t forget to rate us on iTunes!

Leaders need to be self-aware

You have to develop the skill of self-inquiry.

“What is this?”
“What am I feeling?”
“Why do I feel it?”

And stay with that train of thought. Don’t accept your first answer as true.

If meditation is too woo-woo for you, that might be something you could do and achieve the same type of awareness and result.

Be your kind of leader

If you’re familiar with Myers-Briggs, I’m an INTJ. INTJ’s are always the villain. I’m Emperor Palpatine in Which Star Wars Character Are You?, I’m the butler from Downton Abbey. My boss, Bill, is an ENTJ. We approach things in very much the same way, except that he’s very much an extrovert and I’m an introvert in an extroverted job.

One thing I was doing wrong (for me) for a long time was I was trying to be an ENTJ because that’s what was being modeled for me. And I was exhausting myself.

I have things I bring to the table, but I can’t work as many hours, in the same hours, in the same types of hours – meaning, always with people – that Bill can, and be successful. It’s being honest about that, and realizing that to be at my best, I will have to approach things my way.

Letting go of the belief that you have to be what has been modeled for you is really important.

Sara’s advice to New Leaders

I think when you first become a leader, you rush out to the bookstore or podcast menu and you look for

“How do I fix other people?”
“How do I get my team to do x?”
“How do I get them to do y?”
“How do we achieve results?”

And those are really valuable skills, but it’s so easy to lose touch with your own growth and your own development, and to forget that you still have growing to do.

Never invest more into someone’s personal development than they’re willing to put in themselves. Be others-focused, but also realize that that doesn’t mean you’re now the camp director over everybody’s professional development.

Links and Resources

Connect with Sara: LinkedIn


The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier

A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life by Parker J. Palmer