Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Checklist for Lasting Leadership

Checklist for Lasting Leadership
by Michael Diercks
Managing Partner, LMI
I have been involved with leadership consulting for years, and have frequently witnessed the frustration of men and women who have been unable to get traction on lofty, conceptual descriptions of "leadership."
After someone has read a book or gone to a seminar on the ever-elusive topic of leadership, they will call or email - sometimes even buttonhole me in person - and ask the question - "What does this mean - especially to me?  What do I have to actually DO to become a successful leader?"
My response is always "If you feel that what you are doing isn't working, you have to do something DIFFERENTLY."  Over time, I have developed a ten-point checklist of things to do DIFFERENTLY to get different results.
1. Do I have a clear VISION of what I, my team, and my whole organization want to  become?

2. Do I have a detailed PLAN - including quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily benchmarks of what I want to achieve?

3. Am I openly and genuinely OPTIMISTIC about my role and the organization?

4. Do I have a clear understanding of my role, how I am viewed by the other people in the organization AND am I willing to listen to criticism, even when I don't want to?

5. Do I VALUE my employees and colleagues as people, taking time to get to know something personal about each of them, rather than as just "workers?"

6. Do I try to catch people doing something RIGHT?  Have I offered praise and thanks to SEVERAL of them TODAY?

7. Do I LISTEN fully and completely to others - regardless of the issue - BEFORE speaking?

8. Do I share information PROMPTLY - even if it's not all good news?

9. Do I view conflict and disagreement as OPPORTUNITIES to learn rather than being unpleasant and disagreeable?

10. Do I exhibit INTEGRITY in all aspects of my life? Do I stay the course - no matter how rough or lonely - when I know I am right? Can I be counted on to live up to all my promises?
You might want to print out this list and keep it handy to remind you of what leadership requires.