As an effective leader you are asking yourself that question on a regular basis. This series is for busy professionals who want to find easier ways to improve their essential leadership skills.
Below are ten more statements or notions followed by a reflection and an action. Review the reflection and determine how you would rate yourself and decide if that’s acceptable to you or not. If you want to make improvements, do the suggested action.
1. The arrogant think they have all the answers. Leaders know when they do not, and ask better questions.
Reflection: Are you deeply curious?
Action: Pick one assumption you have that you are sure of, then look for ways to prove yourself wrong.
2. Leaders work on solving problems. Sometimes that involves creating new ones, which is okay, solve those too.
Reflection: Do you problem solve?
Action: Make a list of all the current problems that are on your plate. Eliminate the ones that you have no control or impact on, e.g. the weather. Choose the problem that when solved, would positively impact other problems too. This problem is now one of your goals. Put a singular focus on solving it. After it is solved, celebrate and go find another.
3. Your attitude colors and filters everything you pull in and push out and it is one of the rare things you have complete control over.
Reflection: Do you possess a positive attitude?
Action: Today, lead from a positive place. Find the best in people and give the best of yourself.
4. You are a reflection of your closest relationships.
Reflection: Do you value relationships?
Action: it is easy to take advantage of your important relationships. It is easy to take shortcuts and leave them shortchanged. Stop doing that. Make a plan and a commitment to show them how much you value them.
5. Action breeds action.
Reflection: Do you have a record of success?
Action: Make note of your accomplishments, not to humble brag, to record where you have been and what you have done. If you have been doing that, trends of strengths and weaknesses will appear. Make adjustments when starting your next endeavor.
6. As a leader, you often get great ideas. Also remember to reinforce your existing vision, mission, values, etc.
Reflection: Do you frequently communicate?
Action: You might think you are repeating yourself. It’s okay. What you think is important bares repeating. Incorporate new feedback and stay on message.
7. It is tempting to think of yourself first, after all, you are the person you spend the most time with.
Reflection: Do you demonstrate empathy?
Action: Make the effort to understand where another person is coming from. Resist being ego-driven and defensive. Instead, listen, show compassion, cry unapologetically if you must. Be there for someone besides yourself.
8. Stability is nice; change is inevitable.
Reflection: Are you flexible as conditions change?
Action: Learn to discern when to be unyielding, and when to go with the flow. A river follows the same basic route but is in constant movement.
9. Leadership thrives with change; management frequently does not.
Reflection: Do you embrace and manage change?
Action: Instead of dreading inevitable change pay attention, find the predictable elements that you can control and approach the rest with curiosity.
10. Everyone has customers or end users, the person who benefits from your work. Without them, you do not have much work. Do you serve them begrudgingly, or with a sincere smile?
Reflection: Do you value customers and end users?
Action: Leaders who value client relationships are responsive, inquisitive, helpful, and grateful. See if you can be all four with each client you interact with today.
Acting on these ten areas will improve your leadership. Coupled with the previous ten, you’ll dramatically improve your leadership. Share your favorite or which one resonated the most with you in the comments section. I’d love to hear about your progress.
Also published on Medium.