To step into the next dimension of your leadership, you must first know where you stand as a leader. Midyear marks the perfect time to evaluate ourselves as leaders and what changes we need to make moving forward. In a recent conversation with Steven Furtick discussing the book “Don’t Drop the Mic,” T.D. Jakes informed us that greatness doesn’t happen overnight; you have to grow into it.
So, what are the components of an effective leader? According to Smarp, leadership skills are your abilities to lead and deliver projects, encourage initiatives, build a sense of common purpose, and empower others. Leadership skills also include your abilities to steer employees toward the achievement of business goals, inspire them, drive change, and deliver results.
As we step into this pivotal time of year, let’s dive into these various introspective questions as we take inventory of our leadership:
1. What are my strengths?
Sometimes we tend to home in on where we miss the mark and neglect to acknowledge the areas where we get it right. Do you give constructive feedback? Can you clearly communicate your organization’s vision? Do you step up confidently in the face of crisis? Continue to lean into these strengths and find ways that you can grow in these areas. (Note: Our weaknesses should not be ignored, but we’ll address this as you read on.)
2. Do I have a positive outlook and attitude?
Your attitude matters. As a leader, when you find yourself overwhelmed or flustered when challenging circumstances arise, you invoke (sometimes unnecessary) chaos within your team. When you’re able to remain cool, calm, and collected in the face of adversity, your team not only will stay calm and focused, but they will trust your leadership.
3. Do I lift as I climb?
Savvy leaders know how to climb the ladder at their company and even in their industry, but true leaders bring others up with them. Leadership is not self-centered; the best leaders want to see their team succeed as well. They have no hesitation in offering motivation and feedback and acknowledging the great work done by their team members. There’s something truly empowering about leaders who care about your success as much as their own.
4. Where can I improve my people skills?
Communicating with, inspiring, and steering your team with clarity and direction requires the ability to engage and interact with them. An article by Oak Engage shares: “To put it bluntly; good leaders need good people skills. The risks of poor communication from leaders should be avoided at all costs. If you have good people skills, your employees will more likely be able to
relate to you, leading to stronger relationships being created and trust being enhanced in the workplace.”
Not all leaders are extroverted and interact with others with ease. For the leaders who consider themselves to be introverted or more reserved, we suggest reading “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. This enlightening book provides insight on the strengths of “quiet leaders” and what it means to be an introvert in what seems to be an extrovert’s world.
5. What flaws hold me up?
This question requires honesty and vulnerability. You may even have to seek feedback from others around you because they can see your blind spots. As you pinpoint your areas of opportunity, create a strategy for how you plan to improve. This won’t happen overnight, but make the effort to implement change on a daily basis. The key is to step out of your comfort zone and track your progress.
6. OK, I can spot my problems, but how can I solve them?
Impactful leaders have the ability to anticipate, analyze, diagnose, and resolve problems. What is your first response when a problem arises? Most people tend to get overwhelmed with emotion, while effective problem solvers know how to keep their emotions in check while working to resolve the problem. Winning Ways Inc. offers a practical way to develop your problem-solving skills:
- Pick a problem in your personal or professional life.
- Generate at least three possible solutions for the problem, even if you think one of them won’t work.
- Set a date and/or time to make the decision.
- List the pros and cons of each solution.
- Reread the list. One solution will logically stand out.
7. What is my current level of influence at work?
According to Forbes, influence is “about setting an example that inspires others to do as you do. The keyword here is inspire. Influencing others isn’t about pressuring people to submit to your requests.” One of the best ways to increase your influence as a leader is to lead by example. When things go awry, are you able to remain confident and stay focused on the end goal? “If you see yourself struggling to maintain or regain positivity, take a moment to remind yourself that you can change your mindset,” writes ForbesWomen contributor Melody Wilding. “Your attitude is your choice, and your team will mirror that behavior. Turning obstacles into unprecedented opportunities generates a collective calm that is nothing short of inspiring.
During our ILS Virtual Experience, Michael Todd led an empowering session on the power of being anchored in God and how we cannot effectively lead if we’re treading in shallow water — that’s why God is calling us to go deeper. As you evaluate your leadership, consider this: Have you been leading in shallow water?
As leaders, we cannot play it safe. During his session, Todd shared that while there aren’t many risks involved, it’s not safer in the shallow. In fact, staying in the shallow stunts your growth. You may be in the water, but are you really bringing about change if you lack the faith to go into the deep? “The type of leader who is called in this moment will consult their purpose before they consult their preference,” shared Todd.
Leaders, what do you need to drop your anchor on? Whether its discipline, communication, or inspiring your team, we’ve been charged to come out of the kiddie pool and go into the deep. “There’s a generation betting on you to be courageous,” Todd says.
Because the ILS Virtual Experience was such an overwhelming success, we’re continuing the pertinent conversations during our ILS Afterglow! Join T.D. Jakes and special guests on Clubhouse [INSERT DATE] at 7 p.m. by following JoinClubhouse.com/@BishopJakes