Have you ever assessed yourself on the qualities and characteristics you have compared to those you admire in others? Have you ever assessed what those qualities might look like? Do you know what kind of leader you are and, more importantly, who you want to be as a leader?
Leaders I most admire have qualities like empathy, sincerity, bravery, vision, discovery and new ideas, adaptability, strength, and of course, credibility. To help myself improve my own leadership skills, as well as deciding which leaders I want to work with, I created the Wheel of Leadership Attributes shown below. This is based on the Wheel of Life which is a well-known self-development tool, further details here.
The ‘X’ is where I think I am as a leader, the ‘encircled X’ is where I want to be, and the further from the centre of the circle the better I scored myself, or didn’t!! Where the gap is at it’s greatest is clearly where I need the most work:
Secondly, I identified a bunch of personal values I admire in other leaders and regular people I work with or am friends with… These include kindness, firmness (or confidence in themselves, though not arrogance), observation skills, encouragement of others, robustness of thought, heart (gentleness and courage), a sense of fun and compassion. The chart below is how I view myself and, again, how I would like to be:
Finally, for the three areas with the biggest gaps in where you are and where you want to be (as with the Wheel of Life), identify three things for each area that will move you to a new position on the wheel. For example, credibility is one of the biggest gaps I perceive in myself, most likely as I have not held a Directorship or been a Senior Leader. My actions are 1) to write a leadership book (done); 2) to ensure I am consistent, creative and feel able to compete with other thought leaders; 3) to write for and work with prestigious organisations (I hope!).
My suggestion is that before you read my book, or the rest of my book, complete both of these wheels about your own leadership style. If you want to add or replace any of my values or attributes, feel free! Ultimately, leadership style is a very personal and subjective topic. Please though, once you have read all my chapters of ‘Leadership Now.’ here (more are on their way), redo these wheels and see if any of your perceptions have changed. I’d be really interested to find out if I have influenced your views in any way, or not as the case may be…
As usual, thank you for listening and I hope these approaches have helped you as a leader.
Love Ruth x