As the study and of leadership continues to grow in the 21st century, there are several simple questions leaders can ask themselves to ensure that they are on the right developmental path. As I stated in a previous post, I always thought of myself as a leader in the "picked first for the basketball team kind of way," but leading is so much more than that. You can use these questions as you assess your individual development.
1. Are you doing your absolute all to be the best leader you can be? If this is a no, you do not need to move to the next question(s).
2. Do you inspire others to be great? Perhaps the hardest of the skills that a leader must acquire. What and how do you inspire others to be great?
3. Are you confident or arrogant in the delivery of your leadership duties? How do you decipher the two and walk the delicate balance of not being viewed as arrogant. Many leaders have mistaken confidence and arrogance and paid the ultimate price. For leaders the ultimate price is the loss of trust of those you are partnered with in the leader-follower relationship.
4. Can you "walk with kings nor lose the common touch." Your ability to relate to all around you will win you favor with those you lead.
As a young man I didn't have a solid game plan for my career. I was selling pharmaceuticals and was a middle of the pack representative when I developed questions 1, 3 and 4. When I did a serious self assessment I realized I wasn't doing all that was necessary to improve as an employee, and leader. I made these questions part of my routine and my sales numbers grew quickly. After a relatively short amount of time I was consistently exceeding goal and became a resource for those I worked for and with. Once I became a manager I added question 2 and am working on mastering this everyday in all of my relationships.
Use the questions as a baseline for development and growth. For those of you who have a firm understanding of leadership theory use question 2 in other parts of your life. Do you inspire your family, friends, and others to be great?