Skill Assessment: Where is Your Focus?

Leaders are constantly interested in improvement. Making things better drives their thinking, their value system, and their behavior. However, you can't change something (for better or worse) unless you can measure movement.

So, how can you measure how far you have progressed on the road to being the most effective leader you can be? Try thinking about that in terms of what your primary focus is every day. There are four options:

1. Focused on Growing Self. You feel your primary task in the area of leadership is learning. Knowledge aquisition. Understanding and applying the basic principles. What is this world all about? If you are here, your focus is on where you are headed and what you need to get there. Your satisfaction is derived from closing your knowledge gaps. Your confidence comes from other people acknowledging your learning.

2. Focused on Knowing Self. At this stage, your learning is sharply directed inward. You spend your disposable leadership development energy on becoming keenly self-aware. Where are your talents, strengths and abilities most needed? Where do you fit in the world? Your satisfaction is derived from closing the gap between where you are and where you think you should be in both your personal and professional leadership initiatives. Your confidence comes from achieving goals.

3. Focused on Knowing Others. Leaders in all areas of life reach a point where relationships are paramount. Not only in terms of personal importance and satisfaction, but also in terms of achieving their leadership initiatives. If you are at this point in your journey, you are primarily focused on understanding how to get the most out of others, how to deal with the challenges of working in teams, etc. If you are here, your focus is on your relationships and the impact they are having on your journey. Your satisfaction comes from developing healthy relationships. Your confidence comes from seeing those relationships create value for everyone involved.

4. Focused on Growing Others. The pinnacle of leadership is being focused on growing the leaders around you. Taking your finely tuned leadership abilities, your knowledge of self and your knowledge of human nature and assisting in, encouraging, and actively participating in the development of others. If you are here, your focus is simply on helping others navigate their leadership journey and doing so is the ultimate satisfaction. Your confidence is on auto-pilot at this point.

Two keys when thinking about your leadership journey using this metric:

Key 1. These are progressive; they build on the others. At focus level four, you are primarily focused on growing others, but you continue growing/knowing self and knowing others.

Key 2. If you are struggling with the focal point of a level, the first place to look for a remedy/answers is the focal point of a previous level. So, if you struggle with knowing others, you need to start with growing and/or knowing yourself.

1 comment:

Tom Magness said...

This reminds me of the common description of humility as "not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less." No doubt this is the type of leadership that you envision here. Thanks for the post.