Does Your Leadership Have What It Takes?
When it comes to leadership, there are a lot of myths. One such myth is that effective leadership is prescriptive. So, for example, if you have a mix of certain leadership qualities of certain strengths, you’re guaranteed to be great.
But that’s not the case. Why? Because leadership is a journey, a very unpredictable one at that. And so as you move along in that unpredictable journey, you’re going to need a whole spectrum of leadership characteristics, or superpowers. And, kind of like a superhero, you’ll find yourself using those superpowers as needed and to the degree necessary for the situation.
But how do you know if you’ve got what it takes? Well, chances are, you’ve have some really great leadership qualities, or strengths. But if you’re reading this, you also probably have a number of leadership qualities that need work. This is normal for developing as a “disciplined” leader, someone who—as we like to say at Management Action Programs (MAP)—is focused on what’s “vital” in your leadership responsibilities.
Good news, you’re here. You’re reading this. And that means you probably want to make improvements leading yourself, your team and your organization. Here are some ways to kickstart that journey right now:
Get curious! Find out the truth about your leadership strengths, weaknesses and potential. Leadership assessments—those that capture 360-degree anonymous feedback from people you lead or have led in the past—are powerful tools for learning where you’re at in your journey and where you need to go. We use such a tool in The MAP Program, which is a 2.5 day leadership and management workshop. (Now offered in person again!)
Know your values. These guideposts shape your decisions and actions, playing a major role in defining who you are and what you do. In MAP’s best-selling book, “The Disciplined Leader: Keeping the Focus on What Really Matters,” you’ll find an entire chapter (“Where You Must Start”) that guides you through the process of determining your values and understanding how those drive your leadership performance.
Have humility. Admitting you don’t always have the right answers is an essential leadership skill. It requires a willingness to embrace humility, letting go of the ego and the nagging “need” to always be in control. What’s more, it requires recognizing when you are the “roadblock,” or when it’s time get out of your own way. No doubt, it takes courage to face such realities. But truly disciplined leaders, those who consistently focus on what’s vital to succeed, find the courage to do so. And you can, too.