Becoming a Better Leader

If You Answer Yes to This One Question, You’re a Much Better Leader Than You Think

All it takes is one simple question.

I ran across this the other day, It is a nice and succinct take on leading. I love the caption: “Be the leader you wish you had!”

“A few years ago, a Gallup study of 7,272 U.S. adults found that 50 percent of employees left their job “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.”

“We’ve all heard this song played like a broken record: People leave managers, not companies.

“If you’re in a leadership role now or aspiring to one, the journey toward leadership greatness never ends. But it does have a starting point.

The question to ask

“Ask yourself this question: Did I have an impact on someone today?

“The best of leaders in the most desirable companies on the planet aren’t characters in some rose-colored Hollywood script. They are real humans beings that arrived there through hard work, trial and error, and a wholehearted commitment to change the lives of people. 

“The question posed has to be firmly embedded in the back of your mind and at the forefront of your mindset every single day. It’s used as a constant reminder that will help you take ownership of being the very best leader you can be for the people entrusted under your care as leaders.

“By asking the question, it forces you to measure up against the high standards of leadership, as outlined below, which will open up a world of opportunities to make an immediate impact on people. Remember …

Leadership is about giving

“One of those reminders is counterintuitive. It’s to become a giver: a giver of your time, energy, wisdom, and knowledge. Furthermore, it’s about their development; pouring into your people’s growth to make them better (which makes you, and your organization, better).

Leadership is about selflessness

“It’s ultimately doing the unthinkable in the top-heavy world of command-and-control management styles: putting your followers’ interests ahead of your own. But when you do, it leads to unprecedented competitive advantage.

Leadership is about humility

“Larry Bossidy, the former CEO of Honeywell and author of the book Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, explains how humility gets results and makes you a more effective leader: “The more you can contain your ego, the more realistic you are about your problems. You learn how to listen, and admit that you don’t know all the answers. Your pride doesn’t get in the way of gathering the information you need to achieve the best results. It doesn’t keep you from sharing the credit that needs to be shared. Humility allows you to acknowledge your mistakes.”

Leadership is about serving others

“To seriously elevate your impact and influence as a leader, you have to remember that leadership is about service and making those around you better. To assess where you are against the high measure of a servant leader, there’s another very powerful question you need to ask right now: What am I doing every day to improve the life of an employee in the workplace?

“Answering the original question–whom did I impact today?–with a level of honesty and confidence means you’ve arrived at taking the higher leadership road of success. If your desire is to place others in the position to be their very best, you are well on your way to becoming an exceptional leader.”

By Marcel Schwantes Founder and Chief Human Officer, Leadership From the Core@MarcelSchwantes