“True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned. It comes only from influence.” 1
Influence can make or break the success of your ability to lead well and determine the direction of a company itself. However, we too often move through the motions without thinking about ways to increase in influence.
Leadership is tough. Growing is hard. Any leader will tell you that the giving and receiving of both criticism and encouragement from others is crucial for leadership growth.
How are you intentional in these areas? How well do you receive it?
Today, we challenge you to think of the following…
When was the last time you:
- Reflected on your own leadership?
- Had your boss assess your leadership?
- Invited your direct reports to review your leadership?
- Sought feedback from your family on the way you lead?
In answering those questions, you may realize that it’s been a while since you had the chance to assess your leadership and learn from it.
In The 5 Levels of Leadership, John Maxwell presents a four-part questionnaire to help leaders understand where they are in their leadership journey. Gauging your current level of leadership will help you create a framework upon which to build. It positions you for growth.
Here are a few reminders as you begin to evaluate your leadership:
1. “A leadership position is usually given to people because they have leadership potential.” 2
This seems fairly simple, right? You are a leader because you have potential. However, you must make great use of that potential. Recognize that your leadership is only as good as the lowest level you’ve mastered. As you assess your skill level and aim for growth, you are the master of your own influence. You realize that small things matter. Mastering the basics of influence only grows your platform in the long run.
2. “Leadership is action, not position.” 3
When assessing your own leadership, go with your first instinct on your skill level. Begin by truthfully and honestly discovering where you stand. From there, you will know how to take action. If leaders aren’t acting upon their influence, they likely are resting on their laurels or position without making progress in their abilities.
3. “Every leader has these two characteristics: (A) he is going somewhere and (B) he is able to persuade others to go with him.” 4
Do you have those two characteristics? Do you feel like you are using them well? If you recognize that you are going somewhere, but you are going alone, now is a great time to assess your leadership and evaluate how you can improve. Knowing where you’re going and effectively sharing that with others is a recipe for success.
Overall, know your team. Know how they perceive you. And lastly, know yourself. Throughout this month, we will work together to showcase tips on how to assess your leadership.
As you begin to think about your leadership level, we’d love to know: When was a time you received feedback from a team member that made an impact on your leadership?
We’d love to hear your thoughts below or have you join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
1 Leadership 101, pg. 64
2 The 5 Levels of Leadership, pg. 41
3 The 5 Levels of Leadership, pg. 52
4 Developing the Leaders Around You, pg. 48