Within every great leader, there is one single factor that sets them apart, that moves them from good, to great--and that's self-awareness.  

Self-awareness reveals your strengths and weaknesses, your motivations and what areas of your character need more dedication. Great leaders are able to leverage their awareness and walk the line of trusting and acknowledging their strengths while remaining humble and receptive to their weaknesses.  

Here is how I built self-awareness for myself and my team in order to foster success.

1. Understand who you are. 

The number of resources, training, and tools available to build skills has become limitless.  This amount of knowledge at the tips of your fingers can be powerful, and also paralyzing if you don't know what you need first. Instead of consuming every single piece of information on hand, you need to understand what you specifically want to focus on.

How do you do this? By understanding yourself.

Personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs or Enneagram are a perfect predictor and method to drive self-reflection, which ultimately leads to a stronger sense of self-awareness. When you understand what your core values are and what drives your decision-making abilities the road to success becomes more attainable.  

Self-awareness is a two way street of knowing your inner self, and how your external self is viewed by others. Seek to understand not only how you hold your inner values, strengths, and motivators but also how others view you. When you begin to see both sides, your ability to lead excels. 

2. Take action to learn and reflect.

With a clear understanding of who you are, begin to load your memory board with the tools, skills, and techniques that cater specifically to you. Instead of overloading yourself with things that you already know or things that will never benefit you, place all of your energy into building the self-awareness tools you need.

Think of yourself as an operating system. Instead of loading a plethora of programs that will only slow you down, download the tools aligned and compatible with your system to accelerate learning and functionality.

Reflect on what you learn and how you apply it to make decisions. I find that when I reflect on why I made a specific business decision, hire or investment, I make less of the same mistakes. Great practice for this is to write down the reasons why you do something, and then look back later to see what went right or wrong. This is the ultimate way to become aware of your values and strengths.

3. Share with your team.

A leader that understand their natural strengths and weakness makes them great, but you must also be able to observe other's and build a team with the same level of awareness. 

Powerful teams are composed of people who understand themselves, understand others and are able to complement one another. This makes self-awareness crucial to the success of a team. Seek to create a diversity of excellence, for it is through this variety that success thrives.

Encourage a culture of learning about self. Drive your employees to learn not only technical skills but also soft skills to make them a more efficient person and team contributor. Encourage each member to attend conferences, events, and lessons for personal growth.  

A great way I did this was to finance each team members completion of personality tests which we all then reviewed together. This opens a conversation to understand how to better work together, what drives one another and how to create a connection that goes beyond simple day to day work tasks.

Self-awareness and reflection are absolutely essential to business success. Know who you are, make yourself better and surround yourself with a team of complimenting diversity to reach maximum awareness, connection, and growth.