Define Your Leadership Style

I’ve realized that the leadership traits I brush up against that I like in working with colleagues and others rub off on me. This is how we build and evolve our own leadership style over time to lead your peers and organizations to make the impact you are looking to make.

How do you know you are evolving your leadership style so to become, and continue to be, a great leader?

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to stay on top of your leadership game:

1. What are your leadership traits today?
You have to start by knowing where you are today, yes? Document what you believe defines your leadership style. Some of mine are as follows:

  • Physical – Not concerned about being overworked
  • Emotional – Self awareness, ambition
  • Social – Listener, Takes initiative
  • Intellectual – Knows how to delegate, explore new ways of doing things
  • Communication – Communicates passion to others
  • Experience – Give responsibility to followers
  • Trustworthy – Caring

Not sure what traits make up your leadership style? Check out the American Library Association’s leadership traits page for food for thought.

2. Where do you want to improve?

Is there an area you are lacking in leadership wise that you feel is important to the style of leader you want to exude in front of others?

For me right now it’s about being more positive and encouraging to those I lead, both up and down, along with displaying more professional verbal and non-verbal traits that I’d like others that I lead to emmulate.

3. Are the people you surround yourself with great leaders?

If they are, pick out leadership habits you’d like to try on for yourself. If you are not, you need to find new colleagues to work with!

There are a number of people both on the job and off that I work with who I admire for their leadership skills – being able to articulate vision to a wide audience and being positive influencers are what I surround myself with daily because those are areas I am working to further develop.

4. Do you have opportunities to practice developing leadership traits?

Is there an organization you volunteer with where you can try something new out vs. on the job? Are there small projects you can try something out at?

For me, I did this some years ago as the president of a local chapter of Junior Chamber International. Even though I was not in the mind set to “figure out what I wanted to practice” I just did – found ways to show volunteer appreciation and lead the team to have high quality and well run programs through the year.

5. How well did you lead today?

Reflect on situations where you applied your leadership skills today. What went great and what can use further refining?

For me today I reacted to quickly to a few situations I probably should have sat on longer (or should have slept first before responding). Email is a dangerous tool for leading remote colleagues. So, less email, more phone calls.

If you are not making the impact you believe you should be making ask the above questions and evolve.

If you need assistance putting an action plan together to define and improve your leadership style, drop me an email.

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