Being a great leader is a never-ending journey of self-improvement. You need to be continuously learning, keeping up with the latest trends, finding new ways to inspire your team, and delivering consistent results all at the same time. In order to stay on top of all of these tasks it is crucial to have some sort of routine or structure in place to remind yourself of each important flavor of leadership you need to be bringing to the table. One great way to do this is to consistently ask yourself a list of questions around how you and your team have been doing over the last week or so. In fact, we put together a list of 6 questions that every leader should ask themselves regularly to stay on top of their leadership game.
1. What is going on in the world right now?
Leaders today cannot afford to be isolated from what is going on the world. Global occurrences, from sociopolitical movements like Black Lives Matter to technological advancements or even pandemics, resonate within businesses, shaping cultures and influencing strategies. Understanding the broader story enables leaders to foster an inclusive and diverse workplace, a space where everyone feels acknowledged.
When leaders are attuned to global shifts, they can anticipate potential challenges, adapt to changing dynamics, and identify new opportunities. For example, understanding the increasing emphasis on mental health worldwide can guide leaders in prioritizing the well-being of their employees. If your team needs a leg up when it comes to understanding the actions and perspectives of others, engaging in an executive coaching workshop can be the difference.
2. How am I doing right now?
You can only help your team as much as you help yourself. It is important to recognize where you’re at personally so you can figure out the best approach to leading your team. This may mean you need to ask for extra help at work. This could be as simple as letting the team know you are not 100%. At the end of the day, mental health is something that affects everyone. Leaders need to recognize when they are not doing well and take the appropriate steps to take care of themselves, so they don’t burnout.
3. What new things can I do to inspire the team?
Keeping the team inspired and driven is extremely important for productivity. Things will not get done quickly when no one is looking forward to the work. This is why it’s important to always have some piece of inspiration to get everyone motivated and aligned. Sometimes this is easy, for example when you are launching a new product everyone is on board with. Other times this can be a big challenge, especially when the work that needs to be done cannot be spun into something fun. This is when you need to get creative as a leader and find new ways to motivate everyone.
When you are really stuck on finding a positive way to spin the scope of the work, try bringing things back to the purpose. The actual work may be dull, but the outcomes of the work could be exciting. By bringing things back to the purpose, you can inspire people around the end goal of the project rather than the work.
4. What processes have I adapted in the last couple months? What’s working? What isn’t working?
It’s always a good idea to check in on the current system you have in place and ask yourself how it’s going overall. Sometimes new processes get adapted without a review down the line, and often these new processes are no more efficient than the previous method. After implementing a new process, try to set some time to review them with the team and check in on how everything is going. A one-hour meeting to restructure anything that isn’t working well will save hours down the road.
It’s also important to take a minute to think about what has been working well. You might draw some insights that slipped by you before, or realize you have an opportunity to double down on some low hanging fruit. At the end of the day, it never hurts to get the team together regularly to see how everything is going – try a team executive coaching workshop to build this connection together.
5. What am I doing to be actively learning in my role?
You never want to stop learning in any role, but this is especially true for leaders. You need to be actively learning and growing to be the best leader you can be. And the truth is, if you aren’t growing than you cannot be an effective leader, because leadership is an ever-changing world.
There are countless ways you can grow your skills as a leader. Attending leadership conferences, signing up for courses, reading e-books, and utilizing resources like consultants or mentors are all great tools. However, we truly consider coaching to be the best platform to do this through. With the help of a professional executive coach, you can work through challenges and explore new mindsets and techniques to adapt into your leadership style and improve your relationships and results at work. Learn more about our coaching programs here.
6. Who can I use as part of my support system?
Sometimes things get busy, and it is beneficial to delegate tasks to other members of your team to help lighten the load. This can be stressful, especially when you are not sure if others can handle the task at hand. This is why it’s important to plan these things out ahead of time – consider building an executive coaching workshop into the yearly budget at your workplace.
Consider actively training team members on certain tasks that might suit them well. This is a great opportunity to offer your high-potential employees a chance to learn some new skills. This does not have to be just your tasks; they could also be pieces of work from other team members. At the end of the day, hiccups will happen here and there, and when a member of your team needs to go on leave unexpectedly it is good to be ready and prepared to have a system to support them while they are away.
To summarize, being a leader is about learning and growing continuously. You need to constantly keep tabs on both your team and you to be the best you can be. Finding support systems and building strong relationships for yourself and your team members is crucial to reducing stress and keeping everyone fresh and inspired. By asking yourself these 6 questions regularly, you will be more than prepared to take on any leadership challenge that awaits you.