Leadership is a much discussed topic and there are a multitude of articles, books, and speakers sharing their insights, research and experience on it.  Depending on your question, there is a wide variety of information out there, sometimes adding to the confusion versus clarifying.  We live in an age of information overwhelm.  How can you cut thru it all so you can take action?

When you evaluate your own leadership style, how do you measure yourself?  How do you decide where you want to grow your skills?  All leaders have blind spots and discovering what they might be is not always straight forward.  Those blind spots are what hold leaders back from the next level of success.

Leadership can be a lonely place.  Your team or direct reports are not going to give you the unvarnished truth.  As a coach, I am here to tell you that even the most honest teams will hold back something that might jeopardize their relationship with your or their job.  That doesn’t help you.  Which means you are alone.  Who can help you?

You don’t want people in the organization to think you don’t know what you are doing when you feel uncertain about the right path to take.  Too risky.  That puts you in a difficult position of wanting to improve without looking like you can’t handle the job.  Where can you go?

Let’s begin with a framework that is useful in helping you identify where you might want to improve.  The famous thought leader on leadership, Peter Drucker outlined 8 key practices to be an effective leader  in his book “The Effective Executive”, he writes that leaders must develop the ability to “get the right things done.”

Here is a quick summary of the 8 practices, grouped under 3 categories.

    1. What needs to be done.
    2. What is right for the enterprise.
    1. Develop action plans.
    2. Take responsibility for decisions.
    3. Take responsibility for communicating.
    4. Focus on opportunities rather than problems.
    1. Run productive meetings.
    2. Think and say “we” rather than “I”.

Where might you be struggling?  Who might help you grow?

First, identify what practice, if done better, would have the biggest impact for you.  Next, determine if this practice is something that you can improve on your own or with support of some type.

Typically, some type of support is needed.  At a minimum you will want to have some type of feedback source to help you measure how you are doing .   This will let you know if you are on track or off.  The other piece is some way of being held accountable.  Many of my clients have felt this is what has made the difference in making progress on their goals.

As Marshall Goldsmith’s famous leadership book says. “What got you here won’t take you there”.  Your commitment to growing your leadership skills is what will keep you climbing the leadership ladder, motivating and inspiring the people you lead, and creating a solid foundation for your continued success.

Who challenges you to grow?  Take this LEADERSHIP quiz (less than 5 minutes)  Are you a good leader?  and get a FREE report and see where you might want to focus your efforts on growing as a leader.

I have been helping leaders increase their effectiveness resulting in higher levels of performance, productivity, balance and satisfaction since 1998.  If you would like to learn more about how to grow your leadership skills, please reach out to me at cindy@esgchicago.com