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Leadership Self Assessment – Are You the Leader You Think You Are?

By Bob Prosen    

 

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You may think you’re a pretty good leader, but if the people you depend on to get the work done are not coming through for you, you have to consider that they might not be the problem. A leadership self assessment may be called for here.

What is a leadership self assessment? Well, when was the last time you checked your own leadership effectiveness pulse? How about your leadership team – your managers and supervisors? Does your leadership team measure up? If not, how exactly do you measure and assess their effectiveness?

The only way to know for sure is to measure and evaluate, and I’ll bet it’s been awhile since you did that. So get a pencil and paper and let’s do a leadership self assessment right now.

Here are nine of the most important statements you can use to assess your small business leadership effectiveness. Each should be answered with a resounding “Yes!”

1. The top objectives of my company have been clearly defined and articulated.

2. Everyone in my company knows the top objectives and understands what is expected of them.

3. There are appropriate incentives for producing results and penalties for not producing results.

4. We have regular performance reviews.

5. I consistently hire and surround myself with people who are smarter than I am.

6. We consistently achieve our business and profitability objectives.

7. There is ample time to plan.

8. We only have meetings when they make sense—when we have clearly defined objectives that are tied to the company’s top objectives.
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9. We consistently meet commitments without follow-up.

How are we doing so far? If you had to answer anything but “Yes” to any of these statements, then you’ve made a good start writing down your list of things that need to change. But don’t put your pencil away, we’re not done with your leadership self assessment yet!

Very Important Lessons

Over 30 years of working with hundreds of companies, I’ve learned there are critical leadership characteristics that will either lead you to success or failure. Following are fifteen of the most vital leadership characteristics you should have in place.

Do you:

• Consistently exceed your company’s profitability objectives?

• Demonstrate a relentless pursuit of vision and results?

• Demonstrate an unyielding commitment to the business?

• Face tough realities and avoid excuses and rationalization?

• Recognize the important distinction between profit and cash flow versus revenue and growth?

• Surround yourself with smarter people?

• Have an early-warning system to identify problem areas?

• Act quickly to overcome problems as they arise?

• Know the details?

• Act decisively?

• Consistently operate ethically and fairly?

• Run leaner than the management team would prefer?

• Raise more money than you believe you need?

• Seek out new learning opportunities?

• Have a support group?

If any—or all—of these characteristics are missing from your small business operation, add these to your list of things to work on.

Of course, you have to actively work on filling these gaps and put a tracking process in place right now to ensure continued progress. Then you have to conduct leadership self assessments for yourself and your leadership team at regular intervals, maybe 3 or 4 times a year, to make sure everyone is still on track and not taking your new successes for granted.

If you have done this leadership self assessment exercise and been honest with yourself in your assessments, as a result you have a simple handwritten sheet with real solutions in your hands right now. If you want to be that leader you feel yourself to be, you have everything you need to get started on creating solutions. What you do next is up to you.

Be watching for more in-depth discussion of these points in future posts!

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July 26, 2010

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