The Secret Ingredient Of Leadership Success

The one thing that is common to successful, charismatic and effective Leaders that can easily be distilled into YOUR career is that of SELF AWARENESS. This is a tool that has to be refined and carefully developed and crafted over time but it is an essential feature that will set you out from the crowd, be clear at interviews and assessments and most importantly that will be valued by the teams that you lead.

Good leaders really know who they are and what they stand for. This will mean that you stay grounded and that you are clear on what you stand for – a quality valued by your people and your organisation.

This is always harder than it sounds – being friendly and approachable is what we aim for but we need to know that those around us may not see us as we see them. We all have blind spots that hinder us from really understanding how we are seen hence a ruthless self-examination that challenges your opinions and perceptions is essential.

Blind spots

Consider the following areas for some critical and driven self-assessment.

  • How much of a micro-manager am I? Does your passion and zeal for knowing everything that is going on creating mayhem for the team? Are you criticised, overtly or covertly, for this?
  • Is your style aggressive or confrontational and do you come across as a bit of a nuisance? Do you steamroller other people’s feelings and opinions? Make sure that you build positive relationships and lasting connections that show your real qualities.
  • Do you come across as a little too sharp, even potentially bullying? You may have passion about what you are doing but is this seen as passion or something much worse?
  • A brash and blunt approach at lower levels should never be transferred to higher levels of management where people skills become a real necessity and getting staff to willingly undertake tasks is vital.
  • Are you too nice? This is another important blind spot because leaders with this problem spend so much time trying to please as many people as possible. The job does not allow for this level of niceness! Leaders here cannot tolerate any conflict and will go out of their way to avoid what is an inevitable part of the job. Being too nice is just not helpful to anyone!

Knowing what your personality actually is, and working out an effective leadership style accordingly, is a critical success factor in achieving goals and running highly effective and efficient organisations/departments/teams. Always be critical of your approach and be prepared to be uncomfortable with what you unearth: better to be slightly bruised but well-informed than being in the proverbial dark wondering why things never quite go as you would want them to!

Good Luck!

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