Complacency is cancer to leadership. Getting into a groove can turn into being stuck in a rut without you ever noticing. So, how can you combat complacency? Test yourself, measure your current skill and ability in several key areas on a regular basis. Here’s a list to get you started.
How comfortable are you being honest with your team?
And, how comfortable are they being honest with you? When trust is uncertain, the ability to get the most out of your team is compromised. It’s up to you, as the leader, to set the tone and create an environment that encourages – and does not punish – constructive honesty.
How well do you face challenges?
Are you actively looking for ways to stretch yourself to become better, or do you tend to coast along and avoid conflict or struggle?
How well do you control your emotions?
There are times to be calm, and there are times to get angry. Do you have a good handle on which is appropriate and which times, and can you manage those emotions in a way that encourages your team to feel more confident in your ability to lead?
Are you chasing the right goals or is what you’re building toward really just a distraction keeping you from something better?
This can be a tough question to answer because none of us has a working crystal ball. But, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we can determine if we’re on the right track, or if we took a detour.
How well do you read a situation?
Listening is a vital leadership skill. So, too, is observation. A good leader will be able to see what’s really going on when he or she looks around. A great leader will also be able to see what’s not happening … and be able to ascertain why.
How organized are you?
This can be a tough one. Some of us are naturally entrepreneurial, and that can lead to mental and logistical disorganization. But don’t let it be an excuse. Work on that yourself, and bring people into your life and your business who can keep you on point … people you will listen to when they tell you you’re drifting. Also, build checks into your schedule and your routine that will help you stay organized in your business, even if your mind is jumping all over the place.
How is your empathy?
How well do you connect with members of your team, and with your customers? Do you struggle to understand them? Being able to see things from your team’s perspective will help you as you seek to inspire them to be their best. Understanding your customers more will help you give them more of what they want, creating deeper connections and increasing customer loyalty.
So, how did you stack up? Are there any skills or actions you would add to this list to keep you on your toes and at your best?
Daniel Palmier is a leading Boston CEO, Real Estate Investment Manager, and Founder of UC Funds.