Testing Yourself Getting to know me!What do I ask the person in the mirror?
There comes a point in your life when the bestway to figure out how you’re doing is to stepback and ask yourself a few questions.Having all the answers is less important thanknowing what to ask.
Vision and PrioritiesIn the press of day-to-day activities, weoften fail to adequately communicate ourvision to the people around us, and inparticular, we don’t communicate it in a waythat helps friends, family, and associatesunderstand the focus of or efforts.
Vision and Priorities• Do I have a vision for my career, life, family?• Have I identified and communicated three to five key priorities or steps to achieve my vision?• If asked, would my family, friends, coworkers, and classmates be able to articulate what my vision and priorities are?• If ask could I state why my priorities are key to achieving my vision?
Compass and Clock• What do I value? – Most – Least• What are my core principles? – What is the source of my value system? – When faced with moral conflict who or what do I turn to for resolution?• What does my life timeline look like?• What will I do if I can not keep my timeline?
Managing TimeLeaders need to know how they’re spendingtheir time. They also need to ensure thattheir time allocation matches their keypriorities.
Managing Time• How am I spending my time? – Do I develop my mind, body and spirit?• How do I influence the way subordinates, team members, and family members invest their time?• Does my use of time match the key priorities I have for my life?
FeedbackLeaders often fail to coach those around themin a direct and timely fashion and, instead, wewait until a crisis situation arises. Thisapproach may lead to unpleasant surprises andcan undermine our effectiveness, delay whatwe hope to achieve, and slow or stop ourdevelopment. Just as important, we must tryto cultivate people who can give us advice andfeedback.
Feedback• Have I developed the ability to give people around me open, honest feedback? – Straight Talk• Do I have or can I develop one or two close friends who will be comfortable telling me things I do not want to hear?
PlanningWhen we fail to actively plan forsuccession, and we do not delegatesufficiently, we may become decision-making bottlenecks. Key employees oftenmay leave organizations if they are notactively groomed and challenged.
Planning• Am I a decision making bottleneck in organizations I lead?• Are my plans well developed and do they allow for success without my active participation?• Am I coaching and developing the leaders around me?
Evaluation and AlignmentAm I attuned to changes in the environmentthat would require a change in the way Iorganize and run my life?
Evaluation and Alignment• Is my plan still aligned with the key success factors for my future?• If I had to design my plan with a clean sheet of paper, how would I design it?• How would it differ from my current plan?• Should I set down with family, friends, and associates to answer these questions and make recommendations to alter my plan?
Leading Under PressureA leader’s actions in times of stress arewatched closely by everyone and have aprofound impact on the culture of theorganizations’ behavior. Successful leadersneed to be aware of their own stress triggersand consciously modulate their behaviorduring these periods to make sure they areacting in ways that are consistent with theirstated beliefs and core values.
Leading Under Pressure• What types of events create pressure for me?• How do I behave under pressure?• What signals am I sending my friends, family, and associates?• Are these signals helpful, or are they undermining the success of my plan for the future?
Staying True to Yourself Successful people develop leadership styles that fit the needs of their organization but also fit their own beliefs and personality.WHY?
Staying True to Yourself• Is my leadership style comfortable?• Does it reflect who I truly am?• Do I assert myself sufficiently, or have I become tentative?• Am I too politically correct?• Does worry about my next promotion or bonus cause me to pull punches or hesitate to express my views?
Staying True to Yourself1) Successful people develop leadership styles that fit the needs of their organization but also fit their own beliefs and personality.2) A career is a marathon, not a sprint, and if you aren’t true to yourself, eventually you’re going to wear down.3) Successful people often struggle during stretches of their careers. To get back on track, they must devise techniques for stepping back, getting perspective, and developing a new game plan.