Last week, we asked: How willing are you to step outside your leadership style “comfort zone” and try new techniques?
- Very — I try new leadership techniques all the time: 42.06%
- Somewhat — I occasionally try new things: 53.05%
- Not very — I’m reluctant to try new leadership techniques: 3.84%
- Not at all — I hate going outside my comfort zone: 1.05%
Growth occurs outside of comfort. Clearly, getting outside your comfort zone will create new opportunities for learning and many of you say you try to do so. I’ll challenge you to step way outside your comfort zone from time to time. Take on a project you have very little background or expertise on. Mentor someone who is your polar opposite. Go to someone who you don’t get along with and ask them to coach you. (read more…)
Last week, we asked: Would you rather have the challenge of improving a low performer or inspiring a high performer?
- I’d prefer to help a low performer improve: 34.07%
- I’d rather inspire and challenge a high performer: 65.93%
Step up to the plate. Clearly most folks would rather take high performers and inspire them to achieve new levels of greatness by a margin of two to one. I’d offer that you’re missing a huge opportunity with that approach. First, you’ll likely learn more and build more leadership skills in your efforts to help a poor performer improve. Second, there’s actually very little risk in making the investment of taking on poor performers and helping them grow. If you succeed it’s a huge win, and if you fail you haven’t risked much in terms of your reputation because you volunteered to take on some “damaged goods.” Bottom line — consider helping someone improve and succeed rather than taking the easier path of making someone who is successful even more successful. (read more…)
Last week, we asked: How well do you model having a balanced life for the members of your team?
- Very well — I’m the epitome of balance and they see it clearly: 16.39%
- Well — I set a good example most of the time but not always: 53.15%
- Not well — they likely see me as a bit out of balance: 21.01%
- Poorly — they should avoid following my example if possible: 9.45%
Don’t ignore balance until it’s too late. We like to think we’re in balance as leaders but given our type-A personalities, it’s not likely. I’d venture to guess the 53% of you who say you’re good at it would get a different (less balanced) answer from the members of your team. (read more…)
Last week, we asked: How well do the members of your team work with each other across silos?
- Very well — there are no silos on my team: 15.08%
- Well — there are a few minor silos: 50.35%
- Not well — they have a hard time working cross-functionally: 29.47%
- Poorly — they barely know one another: 5.1%
Breaking down the walls. We’re all on the same team. Ensuring silos don’t exist (and removing them when they do) is a great task for a leader. The people in the silos typically aren’t aware of how isolated they are but you as the leader have a different perspective. You can see missed coordination opportunities across teams easier than they can. When you do, take those opportunities to suggest the collaboration. (read more…)
Last week, we asked: How much have you grown as a leader in the past 12 months?
- A great deal — I’m a much better leader now: 29.91%
- Some — I’ve improved a bit: 53.76%
- Not much — I’ve seen no noticeable improvement: 7.89%
- I’ve regressed — I’ve lost ground in the past 12 months: 8.44%
Grow every year. Happily, the vast majority of you have experienced leadership growth this past year (some have grown substantially). Your challenge is twofold: keep growing yourself and also see how you can help your team members continue their growth as leaders. Remember — a leader’s primary job is to create more leaders. For those of you who haven’t grown (or worse, have regressed), spend some time here at year-end and identify two to four areas where you want to focus your development in 2014. Once you’ve done so, work with your boss to find projects or responsibilities that will give you those opportunities to grow. (read more…)