That moment self-critics often consider the crossroads of choice where you have to make a decision on whether the path you’re on is the correct path. For any individual that identifies themselves as leaders, this crossroad has happened in multiple instances of their personal and professional life. This past week, I’ve heard more about leadership and what makes a great leader then most probably here in a year. I attended the Global Leadership Summit 2 weeks ago, and the pre-conference and post-conference analysis of who I am as a leader were at the forefront of my mind. Leading into the conference, a series of events happened where I need to self-evaluate myself and how I’m leading. After the conference, I realized there are a few aspects of my leadership style that may not be best suited for the type of environment I’m leading in.
Through the process of breaking bad leadership, I’ve come up with five steps that helped me through the process of evaluating my leadership and what I could do to see positive change moving forward.
Self-evaluation is important however we can’t evaluate everything. Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Church says every person has “3.4 blind spots.” A leader can’t see their blind spots however everyone else knows exactly what your blind spots are. It’s important for you to lean on your supervisor, co-workers, family and friends to share with you your blind spots. During my evaluation period, I heard a lot of feedback both positive and negative. It’s up to me to identify what feedback is valuable and part of my blind spots, and what feedback may not be as valuable.
2. Compare Data
If one person says it, that’s not data. When multiple people say it, you should pay attention. Right down all the feedback you received and your own notes from your self-evaluation. Use these notes to identify where the improvement areas may be. This is a good time to analyze everything you’ve heard and determine what needs to change.
Leaders change when change is needed. They can adapt to any environment. Based on your data, develop a plan or small things you can do to improve. For example, if you’re self-centered (not saying that’s me), make a note to thank someone each day for something they did or give them a “congratulations” on their hard work. Over time, as you continue to show gratitude for things others are doing, it will become a habit.
4. Always Improve
For some, it won’t be easy making serious changes to their personality. Continue to evaluate the data and look at your plan, and see if you’re making the changes needed to be successful. As you continue to get in the habit of doing one thing, add others. The combination of these changes will lead to success.
Give yourself some time. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and many individuals will have the tendency to lead back into bad habits. It’s essential to keep reevaluating yourself and go back and ask the original individuals that provided you feedback in the first place. If they were honest with you once, they would be honest with you again.
Some people are born to lead. Everyone has the ability to be a leader. It’s important to continue to work on your leadership skills and challenge yourself to be better.