Leadership Reflections

July 6, 2012

Here is a simple exercise to help you reflect on your leadership.

Make two lists.  One is headed, ‘leadership I respected and valued’, the other will have the heading of ‘poor leadership’.

Under ‘leadership I respected and valued’ list examples you have experienced.  To do this think about someone in your career that you respected and valued, this might be someone that was a mentor (whether they knew it or not) a great boss, you father, a team lead that you really enjoyed working with. What are the things that inspired you.

In the second list what you 'experienced under poor leadership'. This can be what you didn’t like about the leader and how they led their teams. Don’t worry in these lists about how you phrase you thoughts or if they are issues, or characteristics, just get your thoughts down on paper. Was poor leadership to you hating to get up on a Monday morning to go work with this person, did this leadership never achieve results, it doesn’t matter just get your thoughts down on paper.

Then think about this, if you were to circle on both lists things that reflected your leadership what would they be?

Well that’s your perspective of course, so now think of this. What would those working for you circle about YOU?

This is a useful tool to help in self-reflection and you can then consider how to improve on your leadership skills.

Of course one great tool to get specific feedback on this issue is a 360 which will of course take time, resources etc and if not solidly confidential will not be effective.

So try the above exercise!

Denis Leonard has a degree in construction engineering an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in quality management. Denis is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, a Certified Quality Manager, Auditor, and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has been an Examiner for the Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners a Judge on the International Team Excellence Competition and a Lead Judge on the National Housing Quality Award. A former Professor of Quality at the University of Wisconsin, he has experience as a quality manager in the home building industry as well as construction engineer, site manager, and in training, auditing, and consulting with expertise in strategic and operational quality improvement initiatives. His work has achieved national quality, environmental, and safety management awards for clients. 

Denis is co-author of The Executive Guide to Understanding and Implementing the Baldrige Criteria: Improve Revenue and Create Organizational Excellence.


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