— August 13, 2017
Every once in a while business leaders need to take a break from the madness of their workload and ponder on their leadership. Sure you’ve been successful at various levels in your professional careers, but is your leadership better than what it was a few years ago? If you were to look back at your performance would you be satisfied? Or would you find there are learning and improvements that can be achieved to make the future even more successful? But if you’re successful then why trouble yourself with questions every leader should ask themselves?
Leaders at any level in an organization, whether at the very top or somewhere in the middle are always subjected to intense scrutiny. There’s much expectations riding on their shoulders, whether it’s delivering on quality of products, or customer satisfaction, or even sales, leaders always have their necks on the line when it comes to business success. And because of these “pressures” leaders are perceived to be flawless and unconditionally resilient to failure. However, the reality is that leaders are just like any other human who also are prone to making mistakes, learning from them and improving upon them.
Hence, to stay on course and live up to the expectations that comes with the job, leaders need to evaluate their performance and ability to lead. Here are a few questions every leader should ask themselves if they truly want to succeed:
1. Am I Emotionally Attached to the Company?
There are some of us who make decisions based on our gut (or the heart) and others who rely on our minds. The challenge, of course, is that business decisions require you to be logical, analytical and objective, rather than emotional, judgmental and subjective. It’s only natural that when you’re at the head of the table, feeling the sense of responsibility kick-starts your “parental instincts”. When emotions take over your judgment and ability to think logically gets clouded. That’s when you make mistakes such as retaining an underperforming employee, or hanging on to a nagging client. Basically, you’ll be taking actions and making decisions that won’t entirely be in the best interest of the company.
2. Am I Favoring Loyal or Skilled Employees?
Unknowingly we all fall for this trap, mainly out of habit. That’s because there are some employees in our team who are always close by and who are easy to depend on. These are the employees who are usually the first ones you turn to when faced with a problem and, unfortunately, because of that you’ll overlook other, probably, more capable and competent team members. In the larger scheme of things, when considering the organizational goals and objectives, this “habit” greatly impacts employee morale and confidence. The “chosen ones” or “go-to people” often get so much spotlight that others feel their attempts to go the extra mile would go unnoticed and unrecognized. And that’s when you as a leader have failed to exploit every talents’ true potential.
3. Am I Sharing My Dream With My Team?
If you’ve been unsuccessful at creating a dream that others in your team can share and work to achieve then you seriously need to challenge your own leadership. As a leader, you have the distinct ability of envisioning the future, whether it’s for the entire organization or just your function. If you haven’t shared this vision and dream with your team then all your attempts to achieve and realize them will fail. It’s no secret that behind every successful leader is a strong, capable and empowered team. To really empower them to shine and bring out the best from them you’ll need to communicate your dream and vision with them, candidly and frequently.
There may be several other questions every leader should ask themselves to truly understand what impact they’re creating in their organization, however, I’ve just listed the often overlooked ones. These may seem simple questions at first, but their importance to your success is enormous.