Ever worked for a leader who was so inspirational and gifted,your memories of the way he or she took care of the team remain vivid to this day?
Chances are,the reason you still talk about this pioneer from years ago is because of the way he or she made you feel.
Renowned poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou famously quipped,”People will forget what you said,people will forget what you did,but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
3 Questions John Wurzburger Asks To Assess Leadership Abilities
Leadership is a matter of the mind and the heart–it’s about relationships and results. Therefore,if you are in a leadership role now or aspiring to one,the journey toward leadership greatness never ends. However, it does have a starting point.
And sometimes the beginning of the journey requires some challenging questions you need to ask yourself to raise your own bar. Can you answer yes to some — and hopefullyall — of them?
1. Are you approachable?
Before you assume you are fit to direct,this is an important question to ask. Because if you are going to lead,you need to be approachable. If you are not,it could hurt your leadership in several ways:
- Your employees may be less inclined to share information for fear of disapproval;
- your team members could be disconnected from you; and
- your team members will dread taking possession of their work,and will only look to you for answers.
To be approachable means promoting a culture where feelings of loyalty and a sense of purpose are felt among employees.
How to become more approachable:
- Maintain an open-door policy;
- share information;
- spark non-work relevant discussions;
- be person and show your sense of humor;
- take part in volunteer or professional development activities with your workers;
- be an advocate for your employees when they face challenges–private or professional.
2. Do you nurture an environment where individuals are emotionally secure?
Research on freedom and mental safety by Amy Edmondson of Harvard suggests that when encouraging leaders foster a culture of security — meaning workers are free to speak up,experiment,give feedback,and request help — it contributes to better learning and performance results.
When psychological security is absent,anxiety is present. And anxiety is detrimental to achieving a company’s full potential. We just can not be engaged or innovative when we are afraid. Some subscribe to the notion that fear is a motivator,but what fear does is kill trust — the supreme demotivator.
How to create more psychological security:
- Create a bond with workers,and remind them of their worth;
- praise them for their functionality with specific examples for positive reinforcement;
- keep your people in the loop regarding upcoming plans and projects,deadlines,and any changes happening,good or bad;
- give your employees a sense of security by ensuring that their work and status as workers are on solid ground.
When tough problems arise,address the problem straight away by meeting with the team in person (if physically possible),or send an email to set people’s expectations. Always pull on the side of hope,strength,perseverance,and compassion. Your job as a leader is to do whatever is required to meet the needs of your people–demonstrating that you value them not only as workers but also as human beings. Finally,don’t leave anybody hanging by heading radio silent.
3. Are you leading with integrity?
Allow me to give it to you straight: Your employees are watching your every move for a leader. If you are acting unprofessional or unethical,they understand. And if they know,you’ve already lost the battle for respect.
Psychologist and best-selling writer Henry Cloud wrote the book on why ethics matters and sheds good light on this issue. In Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality,Cloud says,”Who a person is will ultimately determine if their brains,abilities,competencies,energy,effort,deal-making abilities,and opportunities will succeed.”
So,who are you,really? As you learn and adapt to all elements of your integrity,you will eventually arrive at a point where it becomes easier to develop trust,repair a relationship after a battle,listen with compassion,and provide critical feedback to build up someone.
How to lead with more ethics:
- Lead by example,be reliable,be plausible,talk with truth;
- raise the bar and hold yourself accountable to a higher standard — one in which your followers will want to emulate;
- follow through on your promises or commitments;
- do the right thing;
- be true to yourself rather than be someone you aren’t. By being who you reallyare,you do not just trust the judgments and decisions which you make,but others trust you as well. They will respect you for standing by your values and beliefs.