When the 75 members of Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Advisory Council were asked to recommend the most important capability for leaders to develop, their answer was nearly unanimous: self-awareness.
Also read about Vasella, CEO of Novartis who built an entirely new Novartis culture centered on compassion, competence, and competition. He did this because of his health issues during his childhood and the trauma he went through during his treatments.
When he was 8 years old, he still remembers the pain and fear when the nurses held him down during the lumbar punctures to prevent him from moving. One day, a new physician arrived and took time to explain each step of the procedure. Vasella asked the doctor if he could hold a nurse’s hand instead of being held down. Vasella recalls “The amazing thing is that this time the procedure didn’t hurt,”. “Afterward, the doctor asked me, ‘How was that?’ I reached up and gave him a big hug. These human gestures of forgiveness, caring, and compassion made a deep impression on me and on the kind of person I wanted to become.”