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Korn Ferry Institute study shows link between self-awareness and company financial performance

The Korn Ferry Institute analyzed a total of 6,977 self-assessments from professionals at 486 publicly traded companies to identify the “blind spots” in individuals’ leadership characteristics. A blind spot is defined as a skill that the professional counted among his or her strengths, when coworkers cited that same skill as one of the professional’s weaknesses.

The frequency of such blind spots was then gauged against the ROR of those companies’ stock. The analysis demonstrated that, on average:

Poorly performing companies’ professionals had 20 percent more blind spots than those working at financially strong companies.

Poor-performing companies’ professionals were 79 percent more likely to have low overall self-awareness than those at firms with robust ROR.

“Self-awareness can directly translate into better choices, and result in more fulfilling careers,” said Global Vice President of the Korn Ferry Institute, Joy Hazucha. “On the other hand, those with low self-awareness tend to scramble the messages they receive concerning improvement, interpreting them as a threat rather than an opportunity. They often have an & lsquo;I am what I am’ mentality and continue doing things the way they always have.”

Hazucha says a person’s level of self-awareness can be increased through 360-degree performance appraisals paired with effective coaching. This in turn drives improved performance and greater work satisfaction.

“Feedback helps leaders to identify their blind spots,” said Hazucha. “We have known that feedback was important for personal improvement, but this shows that it also pays off in the organization’s performance. A collective focus on personal improvement leads to improvements in the organization.”


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