Leaders are so busy “doing” that we do not always take the time to invest in ourselves. I encourage leaders to plan time regularly for self reflection and to make time for professional development. I believe the best leaders are both teachers and students. We all need to be students of the craft of leadership, which requires time, effort and practice. I always advise my coaching clients to take advantage of all professional development offered by their organizations – even if it means juggling meeting concurrent deliverables.
To be the best leaders we can be, it is helpful to take stock of our leadership track record and really get to know who we are as leaders. This comes with serious reflection and study of our own leadership style, including our track record, career journey, key learnings and our biggest successes and failures.
One way to get started is to ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have your team “with” you? Do they enjoy working with you, do they learn from you (and you from them), and are they committed to be on your team? This can be validated by employee satisfaction surveys.
- Are you able to retain your team? Is your turnover above or below the company average?
- What kind of 360 degree feedback do you get from your team?
- What feedback do you get from your manager/board about your leadership style?
- Are you able to attract and retain high-performing talent to your team?
- What gives you the most satisfaction as a leader?
- How engaged is your team? This can be validated by employee engagement surveys, net promoter scores and more.
- Have you developed members on your team? Are they being promoted?
- How does your team rate with customer feedback? What do clients say about your team?
- Do you have quality client testimonials?
- Do employees from other teams/departments ask you to coach/mentor them?
- Is your team meeting expectations and deliverables?
Working through these questions, you will start to gather data points about your leadership practice. Recognize yourself for all the good things you are doing. You may uncover a few areas of opportunity to work on. This is the life of a leader: we never stop learning. Enjoy this discovery process.