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How am I as a leader?

- Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - August 24, 2014 - 12:00am

People make mistakes. I do, too.

This is when self-reflection becomes extremely important. Because sometimes when we reflect, we can’t help but realize that we might have made some mistakes.

But remember that if there are mistakes, then there are corrections as well. And also, remember that a correction is never painless, yet it is necessary for personal growth and development.

As a leader of my business enterprises, I need to ask myself this question: how am I as a leader?

Why so?

Because being clueless about one’s own leadership style is unacceptable.

As simple as that.

Now, the following signs are red flags, these would indicate whether you are an inspiring leader or not. Please take this simple self reflection exercise with me. Let us see if it is time to change course and do some corrective actions.

1. YOU NOTICE THE ROOM GETS QUIET EVERY TIME YOU WALK.

The moment you enter a room, every person inside stops talking. You may think this is because they respect you. But that is not exactly the case; it might mean that they are hesitant to say something. This indicates an absence of free flow conversation in your work place.

This is a hindrance to communication, and therefore, not a good sign in your work place.

2. YOUR IDEAS ARE NEVER CHALLENGED.

Everyone in your team agrees with your ideas. You dominate the conversation. All your employees simply smile and nod politely. They are either thinking of something else or playing candy crush mentally while you continue talking.

This simply means that their minds are already made up: that you are right.

They think that it is better for them to simply agree with you than risk getting shot down in front of the group.

3. YOUR GOOD PEOPLE DO NOT STAY.

This is the most visible sign that your leadership style needs an overhaul or at least, an upgrade.

The top 2 reasons why good people leave are:

1. They could not get along with the boss.

2. They feel unappreciated.

When something is wrong in a company, the good people are the first ones to leave. They do, simply because they have high market value and would rather work in another place where their knowledge and services will be valued. They do not want to stay in a place where their talents are wasted. In a growing economy, there is extreme competition in the area of talent acquisition and retention. You lose good people, you lose. Period.

4. YOU NEED TO CONSTANTLY TELL YOUR PEOPLE HOW TO DO THEIR JOB.

This might be a sign that you are a “helicopter boss.” You are constantly hovering over your people making sure that they are doing everything you want them to do, rather than giving them directions and coaching them along the way. As a result, they become dependent on you to do their jobs.

How creative do you think yourself and your team can be if this is not the norm in your work place?

5. YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IN SOFT SKILLS TRAINING.

If you reason that soft-skills training is a waste of money and does not produce real results, then it is a clear indication that you -as a leader- should be trained first.

I have listened to many successful leaders all over the world, and they all claimed that in today’s environment, where Generation X is aging and Generation Y is increasing, the norm has already been challenged.

This is best expressed by the legendary Tom Peters who said, “Today, soft is hard and hard is soft.”

Here is the key. As leaders, we need to grow ourselves first, and then we grow our leaders. Hopefully, they will find the adventure of working with us as meaningful and fulfilling.

Leadership skills, just like other skills, need to be upgraded. And it takes a lot of humility to admit that there is a need to unlearn, relearn and learn things in order to improve as a leader.

The rigidity of a closed mind is the first obstruction towards achieving progress. But good leaders are fluid, adaptive to change and always willing to learn.

I have to remind myself about this, too. Believe me. No one is exempted from this.

(Mark your calendars. Spend two inspiring days with Francis Kong learning leadership and life skills as he present Level Up Leadership on September 23-24 at EDSA Shangri-La Hotel. For further inquiries, contact Inspire at 09158055910 or call 632-6310912 for details.)

FRANCIS KONG GENERATION X GENERATION Y GOOD LEVEL UP LEADERSHIP PEOPLE SHANGRI-LA HOTEL TOM PETERS
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