Take 5 – Michael Jackson on Leadership

Michael Jackson sang about the man in the mirror. A man in the mirror sees himself as he really is.

In my 25 years of experience in management consulting, helping to inspire, motivate and help clients, I have observed that the best leaders “sing Michael’s song”.

What I am talking about is self-awareness. If you are not the man in the mirror you do not understand what you look like and feel like in other people’s eyes.

Every leader needs to be aware of the signals that he or she personally gives to their organisation.  Leaders who are not aware of the signals they give will be misinterpreted or misunderstood in their thinking, in their behaviour and in their actions.

I have seen many leaders who publicly say that collaboration and trust is the value basis of running the organisation. Whereas their daily behaviour perceived by their people, however, is predominately command and control.

If these leaders had looked into the mirror, they would have seen the contradiction, leading to confusion among employees.

Here is a simple, but powerful tip for leaders to become self-aware – to become the man in the mirror.

“Take 5”

Effective leaders take time to self-reflect.

An easy way doing this is to ask one person each and every day, “How am I doing in….e.g. as a consistent communicator, as a role model in values or attitude?”


It takes courage.

It takes courage to ask. It takes courage to stay silent when people give you feedback and it takes courage to keep an open mind!

But when you do so, you will grow as a leader. You will grow with practice – and it only takes 5 minutes a day.

Good luck, and thank you, Michael!


Bernward Mönch

CEO TMI Germany

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