Is your leadership ability healthy? If you immediately say yes, then you might want to rethink your answer. It’s likely that there are some gaps in your leadership ability that you are unaware of.
Here’s the big question: Would you want your leadership style replicated in your organization? Over time, you will remake your organization in your image. People in your charge—and in their charge—will do what you do. Would you want your entire organization to lead like you lead?
Most leaders have not taken the time to examine how healthy their leadership ability is. That’s understandable—and that’s unfortunate. It’s understandable with all that they have on their plate. But it’s unfortunate because of all the people they have reporting to them who are impacted by their leadership.
Here are some resources to help you improve your leadership ability.
1. 360 Leadership Assessment
When you are reviewing your team, it’s important for them to have an opportunity to review you. There may be areas in your leadership ability where you have blind spots. When you give your team the freedom to give you feedback on your leadership, you will make your organization healthier.
As a leader, you personally will benefit from a 360 Leadership Assessment, if you have the self-awareness to accept your team’s feedback. As a result of the assessment, you will learn things about yourself that will help you improve how you lead.
Your team will also benefit from a 360 Leadership Assessment. In addition to the feedback they will receive from you and others, they will also know that you are open to input from others on the team. That will put you in good stead with your team: They will know that you don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought.
2. Fellow Leaders
It’s helpful for you to talk with other leaders about your organization. But this can’t be a brag session when you tell them everything that’s going well. It’s important for you to be vulnerable with these leaders: Tell them what’s not going so well.
I realize that it may be uncomfortable to put yourself in a position to have to trust these other leaders. But you can gain an enormous benefit from people who have a similar leadership role. But it takes humility to be willing to have those conversations.
Those other leaders will also benefit from the perspective you bring. You may see areas where they have blind spots. Those kind of conversations allow each of you to sharpen each other in terms of your leadership ability.
One-on-one leadership coaching provides opportunities for growth in a confidential setting. Although coaching does not provide a multitude of voices speaking into your life, it does provide a focused, insightful perspective that can help you grow more than in any other setting.
A good coach should be able to listen and ask you good questions. A good coach should not tell you what to do as much as help you figure it out on your own. The purpose of an executive coach is to be a sounding board so that you can hear your own thoughts and process them on your own.
If you are willing to be open and humble, you can benefit immensely from an executive coach. You will learn more about yourself and your leadership ability from this kind of setting than you will from any teaching you can receive.
Your leadership ability is not about you. It’s about helping your people grow and become the best they can be, so your organization can become the best it can be. The best thing you can do is learn how to lead yourself so you can be a guiding influence to help your team figure out what to do on their own. If you can get out of the way of yourself, then you will see improvements in your leadership ability, in your team, and in your organization.
How healthy is your leadership ability?
Robert McFarland is the author of the bestsellers, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew and Dear Employee: What Your Boss Wishes You Knew. Robert is also President of Transformational Impact LLC, a leadership development consultancy helping companies make ideals actionable.