Should I improve my leadership?

Few weeks ago, I wrote a post on Bossy bosses and leaders. It was centered on behavior that make an employee hates or loves his superior. There are no perfect leader! Every person has tendencies to act in a positive or negative way. The best would be that all our tendencies foster clear communication, problem solving, positive conflict management, financial awarness, change capability, adaptation and so on.

In reality, there are days when we feel like fighting all fights and others when we would prefer not to get out of bed. There are also people with whom it is easier to work and those unexpected changes that come along your way. Being a perfect leader works very well in movies. Saying the right thing at the right time to the right person. Life is not like a movie script. There is no music to let you know that something is coming to you. There is no subtitles for the words that were not clearly said. There are no "stop" and "play" buttons.

In order to become better leaders we must understand the world we live in, ourselves included. We should be aware of its evolving shape. We can use different tools such as the one mentioned in my management tool box to better understand the corporate world.

The second aspect to take into account is that there are things we cannot change. This duality between what is malleable and what's not can be hard to apprehend but we can do it. We cannot for example change dirt into gold or change instantly any negative emotions into positives one. If you know a way email me!

We also have to be conscious of the things we can change. The mindset we are in  highly impacts the way we contemplate the changing face of the world. A learner mindset will allow us to evolve and as it is named learn while a judging mindset will cut you off all opportunities to learn. The book "Mindset - The new psychology of success" by Carol S. Dweck is a great read for those interested in learning more about the power of mindsets. The the book “Change your questions, change your life” written by Adams Marilee can also help you to become a learner.



Here is a 3 steps process to evaluate your leadership and improve it:

1 - Evaluation

Get at least 3 people you trust to answer the following questions and then answer the same questions about yourself. Make sure that those three people interact with you in the same domain. Do not ask your best friend and two colleagues to participate because you use different skills in those relationships. You can always add questions to this list to fit your needs. It does not pretend to cover all aspect of leaderships.

On a scale from 1 to 6 (1 negative  and 6 very positive) how strongly do you agree:
  • How clearly does X communicate about goals?
  • How clearly does X communicate about his/her values?
  • Does X walk the talk?
  • How well does X listen to others?
  • How clearly does X formulate his/her expectation about you and your work?
  • Can you approach X with your issues?
  • How well does X listen to your feedback?
  • Does X take actions after listening to you?
  • How strongly does X acknowledge your work?

2- It is not a flaw but a flow to follow

Now, you should have a better idea on what people see in you and what you see in yourself. Are they differences? if yes. Why in your opinion?
Make a list of the competencies which score is between 1 and 2, 3 and 4,  and 5 and 6. The categories will be low leadership competencies, average leadership competencies and then high leadership competencies. You can decide to reinforce your low or average competencies. Those are not flaws but flows to follow in order become a better leader. You can practice being more aware of people issue. At first, you have to acknowledge that you do not do it.

3- Step after step

At this stage, you should write down the actions that you can to take in order to follow the flow. For example, if you have a tendency to not clearly formulate your expectations to others. You could write a list of expectation you have and share them. Do not try to improve every aspect at the same time. It will be too hard and overwhelming. That may force you to stop your learning process and come back to your good old habits.

I hope this post helped you to create your personalized plan. I remain available for question at: acgraber@gmail.com. You can also write a comment and I will come back to you.


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Becoming a better leader


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