Leadership has been at the forefront of organizational thought for the past decade or longer: Executives, authors, speakers, and consultants have pondered questions like these: How do you inspire a team? What are the key characteristics of leadership? How do we train your managers to be real leaders? And so forth.
A key question should occur to all of us at some point: If all our leaders should be coaches rather than heavy-handed authoritarian bosses, …. then how well do you as an employee or entrepreneur manage yourself and hold yourself accountable for your own performance?
Here’s a quick checklist for that self-assessment:
- What are you doing to build a culture of trust among your coworkers or clients?
- What actions do you take to build trust in your relationship with your supervisor?
- What actions do you take to build trust across functional department lines?
- How transparent and vulnerable are you willing to be about your performance goals, your actual accomplishments, and your actual performance?
- How willing are you to admit shortcomings and failures openly and ask for feedback and help to correct problems?
- How willing are you to share information freely across functional lines?
- To what degree do you work to build consensus on decisions when your own opinion seems to be the majority opinion on a project or in a situation? Do you wait to pull others along or move ahead with the majority (yours) opinion?
- When there’s a conflict of interest between what you want personally and what’s best for the organization, how do you make the decision?
- How active is your personal network?
- Is your personal network continually growing and creating value for your organization by your ability to recruit top talent and to secure referrals to strategic partners and the best suppliers for your organization?
- How disciplined are you in your work habits? (1=undisciplined 10=very disciplined)
- How disciplined are you in meeting deadlines? (1=often miss deadlines; 10=never miss deadlines)
- How would your coworkers rate your contributions to team meetings? (1=no value; 10=extremely valuable contributions)
- How would your coworkers rate you as a collaborative partner in creative or innovative efforts (anything from new product/service ideas to cost-cutting ideas to process-improvement ideas)? (1=non-collaborative team member; no ideas contributed; 10=highly collaborative; many ideas contributed)
- How does your work contribute to the organization’s overall success? (1=no value; 10=high value)
The leadership style of management works well—to the degree that followers can hold up their end of the arrangement.