The Point: I’ve seen a lot of leaders come, and I’m certain I’ll see a lot go in the future. But I was asked the other day during an executive coaching conversation “What is it about the “best” leaders that you can share?” After a few moments, I answered that the “Best” Leaders one way or the other always have maximum impact on their organizations, their industries, and the world! So the following seven (7) part series was developed from such coaching conversations at Tip of the Spear and plays an integral part in our Business Advisory Services (Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, and Communication Skills Training for Leaders Series). In Step 1 of 7 for Maximum Impact Leadership, we’ll take a look at your ability to ask questions. I hope that you’re able to implement these seven (7) “best” leadership behaviors/actions and make them your own on your journey towards maximum impact leadership… Enjoy!
Who Are You? Who Do You Want to Be?
Your Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) recommends to all of the organizational leaders that they participate in a 360* Behavioral Assessment. This assessment, unlike an individual behavioral assessment (such as MBTI, Hogan, DiSC, etc.), allows input from not only yourself, but your stakeholders as well (Those superiors, peers, and subordinates). “No problem” you think as you take the assessment… And then the results come in!
While you thought that you were “firing on all leadership cylinders,” somehow your stakeholders are of a differing impression. It’s not that the data is terrible (You’re not going to get fired!), but it’s less than the stellar leader that you (1) thought you were and (2) know you are. So now what?
Why Not Be the Best?
In targeting goals, I always like to ask leaders I work with “What are your goals?” Typically there’s a bit of “bet hedging” going on. (Leaders typically upon initial glance don’t want to share all of their goals, or at least put them out there easily within reach). But what does setting easily accomplishable goals do for you?
Leaders that don’t strive to be the best leave themselves, their stakeholders, and their organizations short. If you desire to be a better leader, why not target being the best? If you want to be ordinary, then target something (anything) short of best.
But What Is the Best?
So if you want to be the best, why not start by asking your stakeholders the following questions:
- What can I do to be the “best” leader ever?
- How can I be the “best” leader?
- How can I be a better leader?
The problem of course with asking these questions is that you will get answers. Answers that you don’t want to hear, but answers that you need to hear if you are going to fine tune your leadership development. Here’s the bottom line: You ask… They tell!
Imagine the feedback you’ll get by asking these questions. Important to note that while the feedback might sting initially, the raw data you collect will allow you in the next step (2 of 7) to filter appropriately for maximum impact leadership.
So to start on our journey of maximum impact leadership, fix your cross hairs on being the best leader ever and ask questions for feedback/perspective from your stakeholders regarding those “best” moments they’ve experience (or desire). Remember, if you ask they will tell!