Being a great leader depends on how well they know themselves. Leaders must make sure that they are self-aware, clearly communicate their goals and expectations, reach their goals, set high standards, expect quality work and meet deadlines, demonstrate that all their team members matter, show gratitude, don’t settle and spend time with their team.
Needless to say, a little introspection is required from time to time.
Wondering how do you become the best version of yourself?
Sometimes, we end up in or go after leadership positions but don’t understand why or how we got there.
It is always important to assess our goals, values and purpose every step of the way.
1) What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership encapsulates different concepts and key competencies.
For most, leadership is the ability to wheel power, to influence people positively in order to be successful, to bring like-minded individuals together towards a common goal or vision and to translate that vision into reality.
In order to be effective you must figure out what leadership means to you.
2) Why do you want to be a leader? What is your purpose in life?
Most people want to lead because they see themselves in power, in control, with status and doing whatever they want.
However, leaders are always held accountable for their actions, have to serve as models and have to exhibit exemplary behavior.
Without an ethical purpose in mind, they will not be able to sustain their role very long.
If you weren’t a leader, what would you do? What career would you pursue?
Do you have sufficient resources to achieve your goals and yourself?
Leaders must find at least one field in which they excel. This will develop their credibility, their confidence and will help you be of assistance to people in need.
4) What are your core values?
If your leadership roles don’t correspond to your values, it is time to rethink your career.
5) How do you center yourself?
Learning to center yourself, to choose peace of mind requires that you acquire new healthy habits and that you question your thoughts that most often are an illusion or distorted memories.
Figure out how to preserve your time and energy, how to ensure your growth, how to continually improve as a person, and how to boost your leadership self-esteem?
6) Can you grow within your role and responsibilities?
Some people get into positions to please their families, impress their friends or flatter their own egos.
A job or a role in which you feel boxed in is frustrating, leaves little space for you to develop your skills or maximize your strengths.
7) How do you wish to impact the world and the people around you?
As a leader, you must project yourself in the future and visualize the legacy that you want to leave.
8) Do you walk the talk?
Integrity is currently a rare character trait and most sought after leadership attribute that can help you succeed in the workplace as much as in life.
It actually goes a long way and projects more authority and credibility than a title or a position would.
Furthermore, the team you lead, the environment that you work in is a direct reflection of you. If you want a trusting workplace, be trustworthy.
9) Are you open to learn?
Being open to learn and to explore is detrimental to success.
To start the learning process, you can read books, take trainings and classes, and talk to people who are in positions that you aspire to.
Furthermore, you must understand that if you seek knowledge, you will never fully be an expert.
Creating work-life balance is not giving equal attention to both work and life.
But, it means that you are satisfied with your contributions to your life and work, that you are able to create a sustainable synergy between both so that you are fueled by them on a daily basis.
To do so, you must focus on the vital few and not let your career affect your personal life and vice versa.
11) Are you self-interested or committed to the collective good?
We choose a certain career because our ever-changing needs and desires align with that particular career but not necessarily with the collective good.
In the leadership position, there is a huge discrepancy between hiring the right person with the right competencies for the job, between hiring someone with lesser competencies to feel unthreatened, between hiring someone to serve you and caress your ego.
There is also a difference between wanting the organization to succeed, wanting the team and the project to shine, and taking all the credit for someone else’s work.
Leadership style refers to the way that the leader interacts with his or her employees, influences their behavior, motivates them, make decisions for them and for the organization.
A specific leadership style can deeply influence the quality of work, the levels of commitment, the work satisfaction of both leader and employees.
13) Are you emotionally intelligent?
We cannot control everything in our life.
However, we can control how we react to different situations, how we see ourselves and who we aspire to be.
14) Are you able to solve conflicts effectively?
Leaders must be able to anticipate problems and implement solutions for the future. What strategies do you apply? How do you handle bad news? How do you set boundaries? Do you encourage dissension?
15) Do you have interpersonal skills?
There are several components to leadership. One of them is building and maintaining healthy relationships.
Leaders are responsible for the people they hire and the people that they lead. How do you build your team?
Cultural sensitivity is being aware that everyone is different.
It means being able to learn from different people, to understand their backgrounds, to collaborate and cooperate with them, without being judgmental.
17) When have you failed, how have you recovered yourself and what have you learned about yourself then?
Failures don’t directly lead to success but it can show you the way. It is best when your mistakes come to light rather than going unnoticed.
18) What are your greatest achievements as a leader and as a follower?
It is important to recall the time you have succeeded and demonstrated great leadership.
The memory of past success will serve you right when you face challenges. If you did it once, then you can do it again.
19) Are you able to direct someone else towards success?
Mentorship is usually the realization of leadership.
It is similar to tutorship, to parenthood, to partnership, or to an alliance.
Delegating increases employee empowerment and talent engagement, leads to higher levels of commitment, innovation, motivation, and better relationships..
As a leader, your behavior in pressure moments impacts those around you and can predict their performance.
22) How do you solve problems and make sound decisions?
The ability to anticipate, to solve problems, to make quick and sound decisions will determine the success of a leader.
23) How do you motivate others? Can you communicate your visions successfully?
Effective communication skills will improve your leadership credibility, your self-confidence, your relationships with others, your feelings of belonging and will decrease your stress level.
Your communication skills will also drive change and increase team motivation.
Using those skills, leaders should be pushing a vision for their life, for their family or their organization and it shouldn’t matter whether they have the right relationships, enough money, enough favors, or have hired people with the desired skill set.
24) Are you organized and can you meet deadlines?
Leaders don’t have the luxury to procrastinate because it is similar to self-sabotage. However, they are all subject to it to some extent.
Being organized, methodical, pragmatic will help you gain a sense of satisfaction and will increase your chances of success.
25) Who do you look up to?
It is critical to have a role model who will help you improve, achieve your goals and will show you your life purpose.
Your role model is authentic, relatable and can be a family member, a friend in your entourage or someone you barely know.
26) Can you handle change?
Change is a part of life, is a constant and is inevitable. Change shakes things up, disrupts old habits, breathes new life into the workplace and into any project.
Leaders must visibly act out the change, must be ready to do things differently and to think otherwise.
27) What do you hate the most and will not stand for?
You can’t always find out what you like but life has a funny way of putting you in front of the things that you hate the most.
28) Can you accept criticism from others?
Accepting criticism implies that you are able to listen, accept people point of view and give feedback as well.
29) Are you becoming too complacent?
30) What do you want to improve on?
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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