Great Leaders: Nine Questions They Ask of Themselves

As a leader, you probably find yourselves asking lots of questions.
How are we doing? What’s our progress? What’s the Return on Investment (ROI) on this initiative, and on and on.

Leadership can often seem like a neverending stream of questions, but how many of you turn that inquisitive mind towards yourselves. Asking those tough probing questions which might help to improve your leadership, and become a great leader.

Here are nice questions that great leaders ask themselves daily that help them in their leadership.

Am I accountable

Leadership defines culture and if you want a culture of accountability it starts at the top. The leader must show accountability if he wants others to follow suit. Are you showing accountability, and if so, what could you do to be even more accountable.

Am I engaged and excited about the work we do

If you are not engaged then why would you expect your team to be? According to Gartner on 32% of employees are engaged, which doesn’t sound great, but when you hear that only 30% of leaders are engaged this might be the root cause of your team’s disengagement.

Enthusiasm is infectious and if as leaders we are engaged, excited and enthused then we can create engaged and excited teams.

Do I listen to my team enough

Listening has so many benefits that leaders would be crazy not to listen to their teams. Listening shows respect and that you value your team’s input. It helps increase their involvement which automatically increases their commitment. More often than our teams know way more than we do, and by listening to them we may actually learn something we didn’t know that we can benefit from.

Am I open to feedback

This is a tough one because none of us wants to hear that we are not doing a great job, or that we could be doing better. But feedback is the breakfast of champions, and our teams might have some insights into what we could do better to engage, motivate and inspire them.

I definitely struggled with this, but you can always just ask is there anything I should be doing more of, which is an easy way to start the conversation.

How could I improve the quality of the feedback I provide

Whilst feedback is the breakfast of champions, how we give that feedback will determine whether it is used or not. Too much feedback is given under the guise of constructive criticism, but no matter what we might think, this is rarely perceived of as supportive. It is much better to give feedforward, talk about what they could do next time to improve the performance or the outcome. When we offer feedforward it automatically puts us in a more supportive position that when we just offer feedback.

Am I giving my team the support they need

It’s all about our teams and our number one job is to put them in a position where they can be successful. Asking am I giving them the right support is one way of ensuring that we put them into a winning position, one from which they can be successful.

How could I better develop my team

Developing our teams and nurturing their capabilities is critical to increasing engagement, retention and results. Are you giving them learning opportunities, are you empowering and involvement them, and are you delegating tasks which can help improve their skills?

Am I a good role model for my team

Do you exhibit the behaviours you want to see from your team? Are a good example for them to follow, or is it one rule for you and one rule for the,. As leaders, our teams are always looking to us for guidance and often they just model what they see. Is what they see from you what you would like them to do?

How could I be a better leader

Even the greatest of leaders know that they can do better, that they can improve their leadership. What are you doing to improve yours? Are you taking leadership training? Are you reading leadership books? Do you have a coach or mentor? All of these can help if you want to become a better leader.

To be a great leader not only do we have to challenge those around us to be better, but we also need to challenge ourselves and by asking these questions daily will help us to become better leaders.