Whether you're a CEO or a mid-level manager, it is important to have an accurate picture of your leadership skills. This includes personal leadership skills, such as organisation and time management, as well as higher-level skills including delegation, communication, vision and empowerment of others.
"I'm an excellent leader. I always communicate effectively. I'm visionary and dedicated to results. My employees know just how much I appreciate their contributions to the organisation." Really?
Stop and consider this: If you think you are a great leader in all of these areas, how do you know this is true?
To decrease the gap between your perception and reality, follow these three steps:
1. Build a habit of self-reflection
Begin by asking yourself the following questions:
- How do you view yourself as a leader?
- Who has influenced this view? How do you think other people describe you as a leader?
- What are your strengths as a leader?
- What are your weaknesses as a leader?
2. Regularly ask for written feedback from others
You could start by asking a co-worker to answer the 4 questions from #1. Say something like, "I would like to improve my leadership skills. To do this, I need to know how I'm doing from an outside perspective. Would you be willing to provide some feedback about my leadership skills?"
Ask your co-workers about specific projects you were involved in. Ask your boss to provide feedback about your communication during a specific meeting. Whatever you do, brace yourself for possible direct answers - you might think you're doing an excellent job, and others may disagree!
Read more: Don't Feedback, Try Feedforward Instead!
3. Utilise a well-rounded assessment
There are also several leadership assessment tools on the market to help you assess your leadership skills/ behaviours. They also incorporate anonymous feedback from your team, peers, direct reports, and supervisors to provide you with a detailed overview and comparison between the two perceptions. These assessments highlight what you're doing well as a leader and identify areas where you could benefit from proper leadership development plans.
In the end, the comparison between the two perceptions provides a pretty accurate view into your leadership behaviour. It confirms what you're doing well as a leader. It also identifies areas where you could benefit from leadership development because there is a large gap between the two perceptions.
Awareness is the first step to behaviour change. But many of us don't want to acknowledge that we're not where we want to be. Just because someone avoids the scale doesn't mean they are any less overweight. The same principle applies here. Take the first step and gather an accurate view of your leadership skills. This will set the stage for positive growth that will lead to organisational and personal impact.
Changes bring discomfort because it is a disruption in our daily routine. Nevertheless, changes can be good. Upgrading your leadership skills starts with changing your habits, which is a huge commitment and a long winding road.
If you are looking for inspirations to develop a new routine to get through the current ongoing pandemic, start with this book - 'Habits of Success: What top entrepreneurs routinely do in business and in life', a collection of impactful yet short, and easy to digest stories that let us explore a snippet of the daily lives of leading CEOs.
The book allows you to explore the different perspectives on the topic of habits. There is a story for you, me, for anyone who is looking for something new.
About the book “Habits of Success”
'Habits of Success: What Top Entrepreneurs Routinely Do in Business and in Life' is an anthology that draws wisdom from over forty exceptional leaders, CEOs, Coaches, and world-changers to present you with a multitude of perceptions on daily habits and a variety of methods, planning, embracing to adopt habits and thrive.
'Habits of Success: What Top Entrepreneurs Routinely Do in Business and in Life' is available via Amazon in Kindle format. An excerpt of the book is also available to download via our page. Get your copy today!