There’s an old maxim about not answering a question with a question, so I’m not gonna do that. I’m gonna answer a question with TEN questions!
And the question is: How can you become a more “self-aware” leader?
As one of the keys to being an effective leader is self-awareness, here are five more powerful, thought-provoking, and challenging questions you need to think about – and be ready, willing and able to answer – if you truly want to be a more reflective – and effective – leader:
Question 6: Why should anyone be led by you?
How would you answer this incredibly personal and challenging question (posed by authors Goffee & Jones in their classic HBR article and book of that name)? If you’re someone’s manager, they have to be managed by you because you’re their boss. But they don’t have to be led by you… unless they choose to. So why should someone willingly choose to follow you? What leadership characteristics do you believe you possess? If you left your current role, would your people leap at the chance to join you… or would they leap in the air in celebration of your exit? I’ve had a few (very few!) bosses that I would have followed to the ends of the earth: the leaders who inspired me to “dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.” And I’ve had other bosses who I wouldn’t have followed across the street for a million dollars. (Alright, maybe a million dollars…but not a penny less!) So, now tell us: Why should we hire you to be our leader?
Question 7: What are some of the key leadership lessons you would want to pass along to others?
It is often said that one of the most important responsibilities – and privileges – of being a leader is developing the next generation of leaders. I often use the metaphor of the “Leadership Journey” where the windshield represent the leader’s vision of the future, the dashboard represents the metrics we use to gauge our progress and measure success, and the rear view mirror represents the crucial importance of taking time for “reflection.” So as you think about your own personal leadership journey, what are some of the nuggets you have picked up along the way that you would like to share with us? And if you were to fast-forward to your retirement party, what would you want your “leadership legacy” to be? What do you want to be known for, and known as? How would you like to be remembered? And, with that in mind, what do you need to do between now and then to turn that vision into a reality?