Use this checklist as a “time out” to reflect on your leadership strengths and gaps.
- When faced with wrenching changes, setbacks, and difficulties do you generally Lead, Follow, or Wallow? What would your team say? How do you know?
- What percent of your time are you now spending on Technical (applying your expertise and solving technical problems), Management (administration, e-mail, financial, systems, or processes), and Leadership (personal growth, coaching, team leadership, building team/organizational culture) issues? What percent of your time would you like to spend in each area?
- When you reflect on why you’re not spending as much time Leading as you’d like to, are you mostly looking out the window at external factors (my boss, e-mail overload, and meetings fill my agenda) or looking in the mirror (stuck in reactive mode, my “soft skills” are weak, and I don’t feel in control of my time)?
- How clear and compelling could your team answer these core questions: Where are we going? What do we believe in? Why do we exist?
- Do you and your team focus mainly on issues you directly control? Do you continuously look for ways to increase your ability to influence change up, down, or across your organization? Or do you spend lots of time in “Pity City” frustrated by the economic factors, world events, politicians, external megatrends, systems, processes, and many other issues you don’t control?
- Do you foster a transparent and open team culture with very few moose-on-the-table issues that everyone avoids talking about? How approachable does your team think you are? How do you really know?
- What percentage of your team or organizational members are highly engaged, moderately engaged, and disengaged? Do you know why people are not highly engaged? What are you doing to highly engage everyone?
- Do most of your team or organizational members feel a deep sense of purpose and pride in their team/organization and in their work that motivates them toward peak performance?
- Are you seen as a competent manager who gets things done mostly by directing and controlling or primarily a coach who teaches and facilitates your team to grow, develop, and take ownership of what needs to be done?
- Do you actively practice servant leadership and constantly seek to understand what’s de-motivating people and involve them in finding ways to reduce, overcome, or work around the barriers and energy drainers?
How are you doing? Which are your greatest strengths? How could you use those strengths to move your leadership from ordinary to extraordinary? Do you have any fatal flaws that need to be addressed? You can also use this checklist with your management team to discuss your collective performance.