What you don’t see can hurt you . . . and your team. Unexamined beliefs can undermine your good intentions.
Here are five questions to help surface some important leadership beliefs and to consider how well your actions reflect them.
1. What do you stand for?
What do you care deeply about? When you know what you hold most dear, you can live your life consistently according to those values. Leaders of great teams have unswerving commitment to what they believe in. Their consistency not only generates confidence and trust, but sets a standard as well.
“Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by traffic from both sides.” – Margaret Thatcher
2. What do you strive for?
Leaders of great teams are not content with the status quo. They expect more of themselves and set challenging goals. However, they also understand there is more to leadership than achieving results. Great leaders set standards around character as well as results.
“True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed. Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.” – Sheryl Sandberg
3. How much do you need to be in control?
When you trust in the potential of others, you naturally stop trying to control all the details and delegating comes naturally. Leaders of great teams have enthusiasm and positive regard for others. They create opportunities for their people to stretch themselves and assume responsibility.
“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone.” – Sandra Day O’Connor
4. How do you see mistakes?
Do you approach mistakes with the question, ‘What can we learn?’ or with the question ‘Who is to blame?’ Leaders of great teams are willing to take risks. They admit their mistakes, take responsibility for the impact, and learn so they don’t repeat the same mistake, and move on.
“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It’s best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations.” – Steve Jobs
5. What do you really expect from your team?
The truth is your team can only be as great as you believe it can be. Your vision for your team arises from your own character, motives and beliefs. Your expectations for your team are a reflection of your expectations for yourself.
“When you remove your self-imposed limitations and beliefs, the possibilities for yourself and your team expand geometrically.” – Jesse Lyn Stoner
What other questions could help surface your leadership beliefs?
A good question is worth a lot more than a quick answer!