Quote Of The Week #72

If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything- John Wooden

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30 Questions Every Leader Should Ask Themselves

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? 

30 Questions Every Leader Should Ask Themselves

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?

3) What are your strengths and weaknesses? 

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.

10) Are you developing a healthy work life balance?

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.

12) What is your favorite leadership style

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?

16) Are you culturally sensitive? 

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.

20) Are you able to delegate?

Delegating increases employee empowerment and talent engagement, leads to higher levels of commitment, innovationmotivation, and better relationships..

21) Are you able to perform under pressure?

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!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

The Importance Of Resilience In Leadership

Adversity comes from various sources at work: people, change, rumors, lies, conflicts, differences in values or beliefs, decisions taken beyond your control.

When feeling challenged or blocked, people react in different manner (passivity, hopelessness, anger, blame shifting, avoidance, etc …).

Hoping that life or work is made of only happy, positive moments is an illusion. If you are submerged with setbacks, learn to discreetly deal with them and with the emotions that they bring.

Wondering how to build up your resilience and face adversity head on?

Resilience In Leadership

What is resilience?

Resilience is the ability to function under pressure, to skillfully master stressful situations.

In addition, resilience is a mindset that focuses on the essentials and your personal growth. In fact, it changes your perspective on a tough situations, shifts the focus from our self to a goal or a purpose, and removes the pressures of running after success.

That being said, resilient leaders demonstrate similar behaviors, beliefs and values in challenging times. Resilient leaders:

  • Find opportunity in failure. Resilient leaders are unafraid to fail or to succeed. Furthermore, they don’t stay down when they have been put down.
  • Are able to draw strength from within and to survive ridicule, undermining, alienation, manipulation and what people say and think about you. They have a deep understanding of self and belive that they cannot be moved no matter the circumstances.
  • Face obstacles head on because they understand that pain is inevitable in life. They are pioneers, the firsts tp experience everything and to face obstacles before everyone.
  • Have faith that there is always a solution and that they will find a way. They remain optimistic in adversity, believe that it is just a phase of life and that they can create a positive outcome out of any situation.
  • Are accountable for their actions, don’t shift blame, don’t complain uselessly or make excuses for themselves. 
  • Are able to respond to the demands placed upon them.
  • Effectively manage time.
  • Set high standards for themselves.
  • Are willing to go through uncomfortable situations to get where they are going and understand that these situations are part of life.
  • Are selective of the people they surround themselves with and the people they look up to.
  • Have strong coping mechanisms.
  • Know that you are not the only one facing adversity.
  • Welcome change.

What are the benefits of resilience in leadership?

Moreover, resilience will determine how far you will go in your career or in life. On the long run, in the workplace, it helps you grow as a person, it increases job satisfaction, job performance, success and moral.

It is notorious that during challenging times, you become stronger, that you build up your character and discover your authentic self. Furthermore, you learn from your failures, you learn to do the right thing in wrong situations, even when nobody is looking.

How to build and boost personal resilience?

To measure resilience, it is important to look at a leader’s behavior, emotional response during challenging times. To build up your resilience and the resilience of your team:

  1. Recognize that you are only human and that you will make mistakes. Being human is not an excuse for purposefully making mistakes or for creating setbacks for yourself or for others.
  2. Be self-aware, self-efficient, and adaptable to any situations. This step is detrimental to identify your stressors and anticipate your reaction.
  3. Realize that everyone faces adversity and that behind every obstacle lies an opportunity.
  4. Change your perspective and see adversity as a challenge.
  5. Share positive experiences and values with people around you.
  6. Discern the essential from the rest. Then, commit to these essentials. If you haven’t committed to your essentials, trials will seem insurmountable.
  7. Invest your time and energy rightfully and purposefully. Make sure you persist and put your energy behind the right goals.
  8. Discipline yourself and your emotions to be able to work under pressure.
  9. Accept that there will be things that you cannot control.
  10. Take care of your mental health and find ways to evacuate the effect of negativity.
  11. Avoid taking setbacks or failures personally.
  12. Reinforce your coping mechanisms, find strong people to support you and seek a sounding board who can bring new perspectives on an issue.
  13. If all fails, turn over a new leaf.

How to build and boost resilience in your team?

Team members are always looking for reassurance. When they don’t have it, they monitor leaders behavior and can possibly start false rumors. To reassure them:

  1. Remember that your team observe you and rely on you the most. Therefore, demonstrate the behavior required for success and for overcoming adversity.
  2. Deal with employees that have made mistakes quickly, before they seem acceptable, and with a cool head. When emotions are high, it becomes difficult to think straight, to make the right decisions, and to behave professionally.
  3. Help your team identify the origin of the issue, different strategies for improvement, for the problem-solving process.
  4. Be as transparent as possible and let them understand the difficulty of the situations.
  5. Treat people with respect and not as commodities. For example, try listening to their concerns without emitting judgement.
  6. Provide trainings to your team and allow them t learn skills such as goal-setting, conflict resolution or decision-making and apply them with confidence.
  7. Provide tools to measure progress and to control the damage done to ensure that what brought up the problem does not recur.
  8. Congratulate them, reward them on successes.
  9. Avoid punishing or reminding people of their past mistakes.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

Identifying And Correcting Leadership Mistakes In The Workplace

Mistakes?! Everybody makes them but not everyone knows how to handle them. Mistakes are most often seen in a negative light but it shows you what you are made of, that you need to redirect your career, that you need to change procedures and your character.

Mistakes are inevitable, are a factor for change and have a knack for:

  • Discovering our authentic selves.
  • Exhibiting our vulnerabilities, limitations and blind spots.
  • Helping us prioritize and go to the essentials.
  • Showing us what works and what doesn’t.
  • Teaching us to forgive and to be less hard on ourselves.
  • Teaching us how to explore and experiment in life.
  • Teaching us how to learn and change.
  • Humbling us.
  • Showing us who is our support system.
  • Building our problem solving skills.
  • Making us more resourceful.
  • Displaying the consequences of our mistakes.
  • Removing us from our comfort zones.

Wondering how to identify mistakes and how to correct them?

Identifying And Correcting Leadership Mistakes In The Workplace

Mistakes don’t directly lead to success but it can show you the way. It is best when they come to light rather than going unnoticed. When mistakes are made, it makes sense for us to focus on what we have done right, on our strengths rather than our weaknesses. It is then detrimental to:

  • Identify the cues of mistake making, of failure.
  • Be self-aware.
  • Take responsibility for the mistake that led to the problem.
  • Encourage constructive criticism as much as feedback is given.
  • Measure the consequences of the mistakes.
  • Make immediate analysis and changes to fix the mistakes.
  • Be smart and learn from the mistakes made. Be wise and learn from the mistakes of others.
  • Create an environment that is safe to make mistakes and to recover from them.

There is a vast number of recurring mistakes and failures detected in corporate history.

MISTAKE #1: Fitting Into The Corporate Culture

The first mistake that leaders make is failing to see that they don’t fit in, that their values and morals don’t match the company’s culture.

To identify whether or not you will fit in and be an asset to your company:

  • Check out the group that you have to work with.
  • Pose the right questions about the company during the hiring process. You can even hang out in the company’s lobby or pip in the office to get a feel of the company.

Corrective Action

Whether or not you wish to adapt to the culture is a personal choice. If you do:

  • Observe other people who are successful within the organization and see if you can emulate their behavior.
  • Learn to appreciate uniqueness and diversity.
  • Learn to adapt to the situation at hand.
  • Leave when there is too much discrepancy between your morals, values and the company’s culture.

MISTAKE #2: Focusing on the job and not on people

Leaders who don’t focus on people are seen to be snobs, insensitive, inattentive. They don’t like to be interrupted, are their best when left alone, avoid  conversations and small talks at all costs, are focused on tasks, are afraid of failing at their jobs.

Unfortunately, they fail at relationships. This can easily create misunderstandings and conflicts because people have no barometer to measure your speech or your behavior.

Corrective Action

Dealing with people has now become a sought after soft skill. To keep growing that skill:

  • Relax and allow people to come to you.
  • Control your verbal and non verbal cues.
  • Recognize that people are part of life and that relationships can increase your success.
  • Show that you care.
  • Solve people’s problem.
  • Take lunches and breaks away from your workplace in order to handle social interactions better.
  • Give positive feedback, affirmations, encouragements especially to younger workers.
  • Don’t play favorites with people.

MISTAKE #3: Sticking To Traditional Leadership Styles

Autocratic and commanding leadership styles, though common and easy, are outdated, are rigid, are no longer acceptable in society and don’t work anymore, especially with millennials.

Some leaders, needing to feel superior and powerful, tend to withhold information to control their employees. Today, millennials expect validation, recognition, rewards, a more deconstructed workplace that is fun, relaxed, motivational yet productive and structured. They want to understand their role, the impact of their contributions at work, to be involved in the decision-making process, to learn continually and to own their work.

People are more comfortable in the democratic leadership style and are able to perform at their best.

Corrective Action

To transition from an autocratic leadership style to a more democratic leadership style:

  • Allow your workers to give their input before you make a decision.
  • Learn how to motivate and inspire your people.
  • Be the solution to everybody’s problem.
  • Empower others and help them to be successful.
  • Don’t be arrogant, don’t bark orders or mistreat your coworkers.
  • Listen to the needs of your coworkers.

MISTAKE #4: Shutting down dissenting voices, innovative and creative people

Pioneers and dissenting voices within the organization usually have a bad reputation. They are not welcomed in groups, go against the grain, are seen as not playing by the rules, are stifled, are the ones that end up being fired.

The thing is that pioneers are innovative, creative and can renew a company’s product and culture. They are natural catalysts, take risks and they need a room to breathe and to exercise their talents.

Corrective Action

To include dissenting voices, innovative and creative people:

  • Be more flexible with your policies and procedures.
  • Learn to discern pioneers from troublemakers and contrarians. pioneers actually care about the organization and about their contributions to it.
  • Allow pioneers to work on their own and own their results.
  • Slowly increase their responsibility.
  • Understand that everyone is not the same and deserve a different treatment.

MISTAKE #5: Controlling people and not delegating

Some leaders don’t know how to delegate, don’t want to delegate or just find it plain hard to do so. Indeed, it is a hard task because it requires that the leader:

  • Has faith in the workers.
  • believes that the work will be up to standards.
  • is confident in their personal abilities and is not afraid of being upstaged.
  • is comfortable depending on others.

Corrective Action

Delegating is not easy.  To learn how to delegate:

  • Avoid micromanaging people but measure their advancement.
  • Don’t withdraw a project or assignment that you have previously delegated.
  • Include employees in the decision-making process.
  • Demonstrate confidence in yourself and in the people you have chosen to delegate the tasks to.
  • When delegating, select experts in their field, clarify their roles, give them the authority to do their jobs, allow them to fail and to grow.
  • Create clear progress measurement tools and milestones.

MISTAKE #6: Not Seeing The Bigger Picture

Leaders fail when they are unable to see the bigger picture.

Corrective Action

To stay fixated on the bigger picture:

  • Write a personal mission statement and build a vision board.
  • Get to know your company’s mission and vision statement.
  • Take time to think about your vision.
  • Prioritize and stick to the essentials.
  • Feed your mind with positivity.

MISTAKE #7: Competing With Coworkers

Comparing ourselves to others and competing with them can weigh on work performance and self-esteem.

Competition in the workplace, without rules and regulations, to increase work performance, to put two employees against each other can easily derail an entire organization, create a toxic workplace, create a culture of fear.

Corrective Action

To reduce competition in the workplace:

  • Collaborate with your team members.
  • Build relationships that go beyond the workplace.
  • Compete against the standards that you have set for yourself.
  • Acknowledge your personal success.
  • Build new skills.

IDENTIFYING AND CORRECTING LEADERSHIP MISTAKES IN THE WORKPLACE

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

Building And Maintaining Healthy Relationships In The Workplace

Deep long-lasting work relationships in corporate can take your career to the next level.

In a world where technology has taken over, where interactions are made behind our computer, where misunderstandings often foster and loyalty is a luxury, building relationships is challenging but can make the difference.

Wondering how leaders build and maintain long-lasting relationships in the workplace?

relationships workplace

The benefits of healthy relationships in the workplace

Building work relationships is difficult in itself. Mostly, because we don’t have the luxury of choosing who we hang out with.

In addition, highly skilled, smart people easily lose their jobs because of their low social skills, of their poor behavior and their lack of emotional intelligence.

The quality of the work relationships has direct impact on the quality of our lives. Indeed, healthy relationships have a tendency to reduce the effects of stress, to improve job satisfaction, quality of life, to keep us motivated and enthusiastic. They are a great indicator of whether or not we love our job.

Build and maintain deeper relationships

Thinking that work relationships are not worthy is a mistake. Leaders and employees have to make quick decisions while getting along with everyone, in multicultural contexts, with people from various backgrounds.

  1. Be authentic and comfortable with yourself first.
  2. Believe that you are worthy of relationships.
  3. Believe that you are trustworthy, that people are trustworthy even though you are aware of snakes in the grass. You can demonstrate trust by soliciting people’s opinion in one on ones.
  4. Believe that relationships are important to your career and to your self-development.
  5. Be reasonable. Monitor your behavior and what you say to people on a daily basis.
  6. Be patient and wait for an opportunity to present itself. Prepare yourself in the meanwhile by taking training and becoming an expert in your field.
  7. Get to know your audience, the decision makers and the influencers in the workplace. This means that you have t identify and anticipate their triggers, their motivations, their challenges, their needs. For example, ask specific questions to discover what someone cares about. Furthermore, discreetly get their attention and align yourself with them.
  8. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Respect yourself and the people around you even though they don’t reciprocate. Also, respect their time and opinion, accept them for who they are.
  9. Expect the best behavior from people even if you don’t like them and even though their behavior is not the best.
  10. Stay positive and develop your emotional intelligence to understand your emotions, those of others and to sustain your work relationships.
  11. Increase self-awareness. Assess your people skills and seek to develop them.
  12. Be assertive and clearly set boundaries to your relationships.
  13. Stay on top of corporate opinions and make sure you align yourself with them.
  14. Work on being more approachable. For example, if you are serious, smile a little more often. If you are very private, reveal a little bit about yourself to your coworkers.
  15. Identify and adapt the corporate communication style in order to express yourself. For instance, learn how to cordially disagree with your coworkers.
  16. Avoid destructive conflicts and avoid making enemies uselessly.
  17. Keep networking and making your new-found contacts your most valuable allies.
  18. Invest time and energy into your employees. Create a sense of unity and openness and show team spirit. Don’t allow people to feel excluded or disconnected and promote collaboration.
  19. Increase your team’s self-esteem. Make people, mostly your younger workers, feel good about themselves. You can do this by giving out meaningful assignments and validating the contributions of your employees. If your employees are not able to fulfill their duties, coach them or send them to a training instead of taking away their responsibilities.
  20. Help others in their work and help them to succeed.
  21. Share purpose to gather everyone around your vision.
  22. Address important issues in the room during meetings and don’t allow them to grow.
  23. Involve your employees in the decision-making process.
  24. Listen actively to understand your teams deepest needs, to build trust and loyalty before trying to influence and persuade them.
  25. Avoid gossip and spreading negativity. Gossiping will not dissipate misunderstandings but will only exacerbate them.
  26. When a situation turns sour, identify the reasons why. Look at yourself beforehand, own a piece of a problem, avoid shifting blame and see how you could have positioned yourself differently. Also, to maintain relationships, quietly make amends, repair past damages, be accountable for your actions, without needing to ask for forgiveness or without begging.
  27. At work, we connect differently with our coworkers and sometimes take that connection outside of the workplace. With some coworkers, we are comfortable enough to talk about our private lives, families and are able to take the relationship beyond the workplace. We either think that our coworkers are out friends and families or we either don’t care to be liked by them. It is therefore necessary to learn how to discern personal and professional connections in the workplace.
  28. Show appreciation by publicly and privately congratulating your team for their great work.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.