There are times in your leadership adventure when you need to take some time and perform a Leadership Check-up. The check-up I am discussing is a little more than a quick peek under the hood…it is an honest conversation with the leader in the mirror and maybe a few others too.
Everything in life requires observation, analysis, inspection, and often some adjustment. I propose that a leader is no different. Sometimes, we hear a strange noise, feel an unusual bump, or see something that says to us, “I need to check into that.” The challenge for many of us is to do it.
Now, is an excellent time for each of us leaders to do our checkup. The end of year is an excellent opportunity for a reflective leadership journey. The sexual harassment and abuse charges being thrown in our faces via the press, social media, and daily conversations should spark a desire to ensure that you, the leader, is doing the right things.
Leadership is a service. Service comes with sacrifice. No sacrifice, no service, no leader. ~ Simon Sinek
Some might say that because they have been leading for a very long time, there is nothing to be concerned with and no check-up is needed. I would imagine that many of the names and faces that are being bandied about said that to themselves too. Because a leader’s primary responsibility is to be visible and to provide the vision and direction for the organization and its people, it is our duty to ensure we are doing that correctly, transparently, and with ethics, morals, and values at each step of the journey.
We all understand the importance of asking for help. Those who achieve big things are the ones who accept it when it’s offered. ~ Simon Sinek
Hopefully each of you has a trusted confidant, effective mentor, or a spouse or significant other who always tells you the ground truth when asked. This is your mechanic, the person who tells you about the strange noise, unusual bump, or the behavior or statement that made them say, “something is not right.”
Progress is made. If you don’t like the direction you are headed, take action, make a change. –Runninghutch.com
In my leadership journey, I had many of these part-time mechanics and full-time observers. I recognized the critical responsibility of leading from the front and that my leadership by example had to be at 100% all the time. One of the key ways to maintain that across a career is to have others who you trust provide you feedback and the ability to question what they observe along the way. I was never afraid to ask my group of mechanics how they felt about something I had said or done or if they saw anything in my leadership that needed a tune-up. Sometimes, the responses can be very different than what you expected or wanted to hear and they always provided a course correction, tweaking, or redirection for the leader. This feedback can be the vitamin B-12 shot for an effective and enduring leader.
It is the right time for each of us in a leadership role to stop the fast-moving ride we are on and perform a quick check-up, self-check, or introspection. Things are not always as they seem and bad attitudes and behaviors can sneak into our leadership quietly and quickly. It is too easy to start to believe that everything you do as a leader is right, aligned with the vision, and good for the organization and people.
Today, pop the hood on your leadership and do a check-up and if needed a tune-up too. Make sure you, the leader, is running properly in all the right areas. You will be thankful you did and your organization and co-workers will too!