THREE QUESTIONS LEADERS SHOULD BE ASKING THEMSELVES
Strong leadership begins with self-awareness, including your motivations, desires, and character. Across the board, strong leaders benefit from taking the time to take stock of their own role in their teams’ successes and failures.
Ask yourself: “Am I leading effectively?”
Answer these three common questions and take stock of your role as a leader.
1. What kind of culture am I creating?
Company culture is the foundation of every successful team, so it stands to reason that as a leader, a significant focus should be directed to the culture you are creating. Ask yourself what your company or team’s culture currently looks like, as well as what you envision your future culture to look like. Build the foundation of your team by creating and maintaining a winning culture that includes team building, collaboration, and open communication. But don’t stop there; continually monitor and guide your team’s culture by staying aligned and attuned to your staff’s needs.
2. What types of conversations am I having with my team?
Take a good, hard look at the communication that is happening between yourself and your team. Is it positive? Is it open and honest? Does your team feel comfortable approaching you? How do you react to your staff’s complaints, questions, ideas, or suggestions? A strong leader understands that positive conversations and open communication include motivation, problem-solving, honesty, gratitude, and acknowledgment. That’s not to say that it’s always rainbows and butterflies or that you should feel compelled to sugar-coat the hard truths, rather that you should build a system of communication with your staff that is honest, open, constructive and positive. Positive communication yields positive relationships.
3. How am I taking the lead?
Circling back to self-awareness, your leadership skills (including your strengths and weaknesses) need to be assessed and understood in order for you to lead successfully. Take a good, hard look at your role as a leader, but also examine closely how others view your leadership skills. What does your staff expect, want, and need from you? Are their needs being met? Are you listening when they voice their ideas and concerns? Furthermore, how would you rate your level of empathy? Natural leaders practice empathy, putting themselves in their staff or players’ shoes to get a strong understanding of what motivates the members of their team and then executing accordingly. Ask yourself what your ideal leader looks like and assess how closely those expectations align with the realities of your current leadership skills.
Effective leadership skills don’t develop overnight, just as a strong team isn’t built with the snap of your fingers. It’s an ongoing process that needs constant attention. Successful leadership hinges on a wide range of factors. To lead others effectively, remember to start with a thorough assessment of how your staff is being led and take a deep dive into self-examination.