Many years ago, a mentor of mine gave me a book titled The Man in the Mirror by Patrick Morley. I still have that book, and every two or three years, I take it with me to the beach and reread it.
As I read it this last time, I looked at it from a leader’s viewpoint. It inspired me to create a list of five questions we as leaders need to be asking ourselves on a regular basis.
Here are those five questions. Will you look in the mirror with me?
1. How often am I communicating the company’s vision to my team?
If I asked your team what the vision is, how many different answers would I get?
I did this recently at an organization with whom I was working. Of the 120 people in the room, only one person got close to the actual written vision of the company.
Most had no idea what the vision was.
If this is the case where you are, how can you expect people to follow you? The fact is, they don’t know where you are taking them.
Connecting to you is one thing. Connecting to you and the vision is what your goal should be.
Are your people connecting with both you and the vision?
2. What are the priorities in my business?
Do you regularly outline these for your team? Do everyone’s activities connect to the vision?
If you can narrow down activities for everyone, and keep them focused on WIN (What’s Important Now), you will have a more productive, effective, and efficient team.
Most people I talk with tell me they need better time management. But help your team with priority management, and everyone wins!
3. How am I really spending my time?
You set the example for WINning by following the What’s Important Now formula – by working the vision and priority management.
What is your team really seeing in your example?
In my work with leaders, we often go through some exercises to truly see where they are spending time. It is normally an eye-opening exercise for them, as many realize they allow unexpected events, day-to-day challenges, and personal responsibilities take up much of their time. Left unchallenged, these can pull them away from leading towards the vision.
4. What does my feedback look like?
Ask yourself: “Do I give my team timely, constructive, and to-the-point feedback?”
If you have the right people on your team, they want to be coached and developed. They don’t want to wait for the annual review process to hear how they can improve. They are looking for immediate feedback so they can adjust course accordingly.
If you are worrying about being “liked” by them, waiting until year-end may not get you there. If you wait until year-end, you most definitely won’t be “liked.”
5. Am I open to feedback?
I will always recommend that leaders engage with a coach, but internally, who are you open to receiving feedback from? If you aren’t asking for feedback from several levels, you are missing out on some growth opportunities. If you read my recent article on blind spots, you have seen some of what could be holding you back.
Regardless of whether you are a leader in the corporate world, small business, or in a business of your own, taking this journey of five questions on a regular basis adds value to you, your team, your relationships, and more.
Dave Ferguson is “The Leaders’ Coach”, an internationally recognized executive leadership coach, speaker, facilitator, and author. Are you interested in talking to Dave about coaching or having Dave speak to inspire and motivate your team? “ASK COACH DAVE” at 704-907-0171 or at Dave@AskCoachDave.com.