People like throwing acronyms around – BRB, OMG, LOL, LWKMD. They have become the new code for discussions between various tribes. These days, when I get asked for my view on some areas of interest, I join the fun by saying, “KSB”.

KSB simply stands for – Know self, Sell self, Be self. In practice, the order varies.

So let’s talk a little bit about each.

Know self

“Nobody can teach me who I am. You can describe parts of me, but who I am – and what I need – is something I have to find out myself.” – Chinua Achebe

There are various ways to know self. Reading, writing, engaging people of diverse and homogenous backgrounds, travelling, Insights Discovery®.

However, my favorite is simply paying attention to self. Paying attention to the facts that fascinate you, the feelings they provoke and the intents of your heart.

Try not to fall into the pit of judging self while paying attention. Just observe and note everything about you. It is both fascinating and liberating.

Have you ever met a leader that talks about self and you are amazed at the clarity? How do you see such leaders?

Have you ever met a leader that talks about self and you are amazed at the hallucinations? How do you see such leaders?

Which are you?

Coda: You cannot lead who you do not know.

Sell self

“Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose and then where are you?” – Fanny Brice

Selling self will give you an opportunity to know self better. Selling self is a necessary step to testing your biases. It will help you hone what works and what doesn’t.

We are individuals, yet social beings. To live in the world, we need others. We are different, yet in many respects, we are alike.

However, focus cannot only be on selling self to others, you also need to sell self to self. You have to get comfortable with who and/or what you are.

Try not to sell yourself short (and call it humility) or to oversell yourself (and call it confidence).

How do you know when you are selling yourself short or overselling yourself? Feedback. Ask for feedback. Be approachable, yet remain in charge of your accessibility.

People will tell you what you display. These people might be mentors, coaches, consiglieres, family, friends, associates, acquaintances, strangers or enemies. However, people can also mislead you, even those you trust.

The truth is, if you are off balance – selling self short or overselling self, you will know, if you pay attention to self. Most times, the feedback you get from others is either confirmation of what you already know or a light that pierces the shadow of a bias, which has long hidden a part of you.

To sell self, proximity to the intended buyer is necessary.

Coda: Leaders are suspicious of distant followers and followers fill the vacuum of distant leaders.

Be self

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

A person that can successfully sell self, can be self. The consistency required to be self, helps you to better know self.

However, even when you have been able to show who you are and demonstrate that who you are works, you will still need a healthy dose of courage to be self. Why? There is a natural conflict between being and becoming.

Being self can sometimes seem lonely, but if you stay true, people will come around, if that still matters.

Coda: There can be no why for being, if you are not being.

– Osasu Oviawe

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