ATD Blog

Self-Awareness Drives Reinvention...and a new book

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Everything has a shelf life.

Even leadership skills becomes stale over time. Yet, in this competitive environment where we are all challenged to step on the gas, just going for the sake of going can be risky. We build leadership programs to hone skills that will drive increased productivity...but how?  By working people harder? 

QUESTION - Is today's workforce where are you seeing leaders become stale?

Proactively reinventing.

Leadership is being redefined as a blended portfolio of reinvent self, reinvent others and reinvent the business.

- Reinvent Self = finding new skills or a new platform to use existing skills

- Reinvent Other = recognizing you can create value by making others more productive

- Reinvent the Business = discovering ways to do it faster, better, cheaper


Like any portfolio you can shift your investment focus over time but great leaders stay diverse by keeping all three present always. The key is discerning what you need to reinvent before you are asked by someone else to do it.

QUESTION - Which type of reinvention is most valued in your organization and how do leaders react to that?

Self-awareness is key.

To reinvent the right way at the right time a leader must have strong self-awareness. In my research for my book, we surveyed 700 leaders to validate what behaviors best drive self-awareness. The results were very telling (and you can read more in the sample chapter posted on ASTD's website at ). 

The four pillars are:


- an above average support system and network

- a proficiency in critical and systems thinking

- a savvy perspective of the political landscape

- a courageous drive for magis (more for the good of others)

QUESTION - How have you seen these four pillars play out in your self-awareness?

It was a tremendous experience working as a practitioner while writing this book. I learned so much about leadership, writing, research and myself. If anyone is interested in generating a discussion on a practitioner's (3-year) journey to validating a leadership model and writing a book, say the word (pun intended). 

About the Author

Dan Gallagher has twenty years of leadership and organizational development experience within leading corporate and academic institutions. Since 2000, Dan has worked at Comcast, with 13 of those years at Comcast University in several leadership roles in high potential development and training across the company. He is now the Senior Vice President, Strategic Growth Initiatives at Comcast-Spectacor, where he manages training, information technology and change management tied to OneComcast-Spectacor. Dan has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in organizational development and leadership from Saint Joseph’s University. Dan served as president of the Philadelphia Society for Human Resource Management, has lectured at Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania and is an active leader in his community. In 2012 he published The Self-Aware Leader of which all proceeds will go to City Year. Dan currently sits on Advisory Boards with City Year and the National League of Cities. Dan lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and four sons.

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