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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois Leadership Competencies: Personal/Self: Self Knowledge

An effective leader nurtures and improves their own self-esteem, goals, relationships, and values through self analysis and self-growth. This LibGuide provides resources to support the development of the Personal/Self competency.

What is Self-Knowledge?

"The unexamined life is not worth living"


Self-Knowledge isn't knowing how many teeth you have, or knowing your family history really well. Self-Knowledge is a growing and living understanding of you, it means to possess a precise sense of where you stand in the present and future. If you have self-knowledge you can describe your strengths, weaknesses, interests, values, and goals. 

Self-Knowledge acts as the lightning rod when times get rough, the compass when you are looking for your next destination, and the mirror when you look up at someone you didn't realize you were. This section offers resources on building, honing, and understanding yourself as well as using this knowledge to improve your interactions with the world around you. 


Books on Self-Knowledge

TED Talk "Everyday Leadership" by Drew Dudley

Activities to Build Self-Knowledge