One of the hardest things about being a leader is that we can be so self-critical. Or on the other extreme, we can never stop and evaluate ourselves and we become dangerous rather than good leaders. I can honestly I can say I have been a little of both. In my own life and career, I tend to be extra critical of myself. It has only been through time, practice, and intentional evaluation that I have survived as a leader. So how can we be strong leaders and not cross over to Godzilla monsters? So today I want to ask you to pause and take a little self-evaluation.
Self-evaluation is a must if you want to grow as a leader. If you are not growing as a leader, you are dead. If you are dead, the people you are called to lead will die, if your team dies...your organization dies. It starts with you!
So here are five questions to ask yourself and answer honestly. If you want to grow, answer these questions privately, write them down. Then ask another leader or trusted person to answer the same questions, and then compare your evaluation results. This is where you begin to get a true reflection of your current state as a leader. Take a good look in the mirror, and then be ready to act, make adjustments.
5 LEADERSHIP QUESTIONS:
1. Am I being consistent?
When leaders are fair-weathered your team, staff and organization will see it. This will confuse, and give unspoken permission for others to inconsistent. Leaders set the standard and DNA of anything they lead. The more consistent you are in word, action, deed, the stronger everyone around you will be.
2. Do I foster and model good communication?
Communication makes or breaks a great team. But to have great communication it must be modeled. Leaders there are many things that you can delegate, but clear communication is not one of them. Leadership and communication are forever linked together I believe, and yet far too many leaders are poor communicators. If you are weak in this area, get coaching. Not only do you have to a great communicator, but you must also create an environment where everyone can feel safe to communication, a place where ideas, dreams, and plans are talked and shared openly. But you must foster that from the top levels.
3. How sharp is my vision?
Vision casting is an art and takes practice. Just putting up a poster or sign up stating a vision is not good enough. Great leaders eat, sleep, and breath vision. Vision must be big and crazy enough to go after, and planned to achieve. Do you see the unseen? Can you paint the big vision in a strong compelling way that gains followers, believers and mobilizes people? Are is still vague in your mind as well?
4. Am I intentionally building and developing my team and leaders?
Every great sports franchise knows it must develop a great farm team system to develop players. Every player has potential, but not every player is a starter, superstar, or leader. I am a big advocate of MENTORSHIP. School can teach you so much, but hands-on, shadowing other leaders is the best. Yes, it's an investment, then the result are off the charts. Leadership development can be done in so many ways today. If you have a high caliber leader and are not intentionally developing to tragic things will happen. One you are wasting a valuable player. Second, they will leave for a place where they can be developed. What leadership pipeline do you have in place, and how and helping to champion it?
5. Do I have an accountability partner or am I a “Lone Ranger”?
Too many leaders are falling, don't it let be you. ACCOUNTABILITY is a must. If not checked, you will go rogue on your dreams, plans, team, and family. But besides helping to keep you in check, an accountability partner can be a great safe sounding board. The men and women that had held that place in my life have been invaluable. No "Lone Rangers" allowed is something you must again lead and model.
For more help with maintaining a healthy evaluation of yourself and the effectiveness as a leader, check out my video. Leadership Health Check-up: Top 5 Checklist.
Rich "Trigger" Bontrager is a motivational speaker, leadership coach, broadcaster, Pastor and UNOS Ambassador on a mission to help you, "DEFY THE ODDS in life, leadership & public speaking. You can reach Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org