Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Leadership Mirrors...

Leadership effectiveness is variable.  Sometimes leaders are great.  Most of the time leaders are average.   Occassionally leaders are awful.  For students of Leadership - improving their ability to stay away from moments of awful leadership and cause the opportunity for greatness more often would dramatically increase positive possibilities.  Making this happen is a little like driving a big car in a parking garage - you have to use your mirrors to see where you are to effectively manever in tight places without causing any damage along the way.  Here are some personal "mirrors" you can use to check yourself on a daily basis.

What are you goals for the day?

Leaders need clear performance goals for themselves and for their team.  If you don't have clear goals then how will you define success for yourself or others?  Take the time to understand what you want to cause as a leader each day and define why you want to make this happen. 

Understand your choices.

Leaders make choices for themselves and others.  Always understand the choices you are making and the impact upon your team in the present and the future.  Be accountable for your choices - after all - they are yours.  Look for patterns in your decision making - ensure you know why, how, and when you make smart choices that lead to positive results.

Know when you tend to drift.

Leaders need to know what they love to do and what is a bother.  Everyone drifts toward something that excites them and finds ways to avoid activities which do not.  Usually the difference between effective and ineffective leadership is focus, discipline, and effort.  For leaders - many problems are created by lack of attention at the right time.  Don't drift away from the work that must be done.

Check with people who care.

All leader's have blind spots.  Blind spots are areas where leaders cannot see the impact of their viewpoints or activities.  Blind spots can be positive and negative.  Leaders who seek to find their blind spots will improve their results.  Every leader needs someone they can trust to share their dreams, sort out their problems, give them a reality check, nudge them in a different direction, affirm their efforts, etc... .  Every good leader seeks someone to help them grow and serve more effectively.

So as your leading today - check your mirrors to be more effective.

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