Have you ever considered your leadership style? Do you reflect on it to determine if your beliefs and actions are consistent? Do you need to?
Early last week one of my co-workers asked me to answer some questions about leadership for a class she is taking. Answering the questions she asked gave me a time to reflect of my leadership ideals and style and I found answering these questions to be a good, reflective growth opportunity. Furthermore, it inspired me to dig deeper and I decided that I could gain even more by fleshing out a full leadership statement and seeking feedback on it. I want to share my experience with you and encourage you to examine your own leadership style and develop a leadership statement.
Writing a Leadership Statement
I started the process using one of my answer to my co-worker’s question, which outlines my ideal of leadership:
An effective leader understands the different resources available to him; people, skills, tools, financial resources, and leverage those resources to bring vision into reality. But an effective leader is not an island. He recognizes that visions are best achieved when the leader acknowledges that he does not have all the answers and invites those around him to collaborate, to fully develop and implement the vision.
Identify Core Values
From there I asked myself what my core values were. After careful thought, I came up with the following list:
- Personal Growth
Reflect on these Values
For each of these values, I considered how it impacted my leadership and leadership style, identifying actions where I saw each core value used in my leadership. For instance, as I considered personal growth, I observed my practice of looking at each situation I encounter for something I can learn or grow form. One such example was discussing eLearning design with a colleague from another company. I was intrigues by their focus on exploratory techniques in the design. It caused me to further research this idea and evaluate my own work, which led to some tweaking of my design approach and templates. This approach of seeking personal growth and encouraging and empowering others to engage in that is central to my leadership style.
Summarize Your leadership Style
Looking at the full scope of my reflections, I wrote about each core value and them summed up with a statement summarizing my overall style:
Each of these core values influences me daily in my choices and behavior and guides me to be a leader that invites others to join me on the journey and focuses on coaching others to continually grow and evolve as we develop and achieve our vision and goals.
Finally, the last, and one of the most important pieces, is to get feedback. I sent out my statement to people from different areas of my life where I am a leader. I sent it to people who I have led, co-led with, or been under their supervision. I asked them if they felt the statement was accurate and fit what they observed, if there were things they had not see, and if there were core values that seemed to be missing.
If you have not engaged in this kind of reflection, I highly recommend it. I found it was helpful to understand my ideals of leadership, my core values and how they impacted my leadership and then checking my perceptions against those I trust and respect.
To see my leadership Statement click here.