I define personal awareness as your knowledge of who you are and who you are not. You know your strengths and you have identified areas of improvement and you make decisions that put you in a position to highlight your strengths and test your development as a person. You know how to use your strengths to your advantage and you do not allow the areas that you need to develop hold you back.
I define self-accountability as your desire and ability to create your own standards, often loftier and more demanding than what you will encounter from anyone else, and to hold yourself to those standards on a consistent basis. While there is always someone else to answer to, you will always be more likely to meet the expectations of others if you have appropriately set the expectations you have of yourself first.
Clearly, the common thread in these traits is their relation to self. If you are able to effectively manage yourself, you will be much more likely to effectively manage others. If your personal house is in order, you will be much more likely to understand what you expect from those around you.
This article is part of Scott Arney's educational series, entitled The Serial Decision Maker.