7 Signs Your Leadership Isn’t 100% Effective
Here are seven signs that we came up with in our work with leaders that can act as a personal barometer of our leadership effectiveness. This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list but we created it to help us in our journey to a more powerful leadership presence.
- Viewing integrity as a value. As soon as you view integrity as a value you diminish it’s effectiveness. One thing we know for sure at NewLeader is that NOBODY has integrity and NOBODY can stay in integrity. I can’t cut you open and find your “integrity gene” because it doesn’t exist. Integrity is an “always now” phenomenon. Once you honour your word -at that moment- you are in integrity. Then in the next moment it is gone. Until you have to honour your word again. If something exists for us as a value then we tend to leave it out when it isn’t “convenient” for us. Integrity is not a value -it is a law. Like gravity. Saying I have integrity is like saying “I have gravity.” It’s strange and inappropriate. We promise that if you look at integrity like this you will not only have an increase in productivity but your life and business will start to work where it wasn’t before.
- Being decided. Not to be confused with decisive, this is a state of mind where we have decided that we are right and certain about the state of things. When we think we know better -in that moment we are blind. Things are constantly changing and are unpredictable so when we think we know we don’t pay any attention to what we need to pay attention to. The most powerful way to be is for us to approach each moment as if we are about to learn something extraordinary…. and we probably are! Eric Hoffer said it best: “In times of change, those who are prepared to learn will inherit the land, while those who think they already know will find themselves wonderfully equipped to face a world that no longer exists.”
- Arrogance/Pride. When we confuse the size of our company with the success of our company we are in that moment, arrogant. There are other markers that tell us this but this one is the most common. If we think we are above spending time with the shipper, the cashier, the front line staff, then we are arrogant indeed. The only cure for arrogance is authenticity. The leader who is willing to tell any one of his people about how much of a moron that he is is a leader that others will follow and walk over glass for.
- Playing a small game. We define playing small as “having it be all about us instead of being in service of something bigger than ourselves.” We meet leaders that talk about themselves way too much. They like us to think about how awesome they are and how much they have given to the organization. Leaders who play big talk about how awesome their people are and how much their team has shaped and contributed to the organization. This is how we know you are playing big or small. When your playing big you are (unconsciously) talking about your team. When you are playing small you are (unconsciously) talking about yourself.
- Not being self-aware. Your level of self-awareness is equal to your level of effectiveness and mental health. When we are not being self-aware we are being lulled into blindness and arrogance. How we know we are being self-aware is that we have the experience of observing how we observe the world. This way of being requires great courage. Marianne Williamson said it like this: “It takes courage…to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.”
- Not open to feedback. Feedback isn’t other people telling you what to do or not to do. That’s advice. It isn’t other people telling you what they think of you. That’s criticism and useless air. So what is it? Feedback -when done right- is simply a “window” into the mind of your listeners. You get to see how what you said or did caused them to see, feel or think. The point of feedback isn’t to restrict leaders but to inform them about their own effectiveness. If I know I am doing something in my actions that is causing my team to withhold critical information because I am occurring to them as “moody.” Then if I can know that -I can alter my behaviour to create a more transparent atmosphere. Brian Tracy said “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
- Not being clear on your vision. We know we are a leader when we have a clear vision. We know where we are going. Effective leaders can articulate in one sentence where the ship is sailing. If we can’t do that then we are currently being ineffective (see point 5 above). Vision is one of the most distinguishing factors of leadership. The vision conversation is something we have everyday with our team. We are constantly linking what’s going on, what results we are having and our current productivity to the big picture. It’s a habit that leaders engage in. Jonathan Swift said “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”
Do you have any others we can include? Comment below.
Originally published at The NewLeader Company.