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What Is Your Leadership IQ?

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.

~Jack Welch~

 Taking an active role in the creation of your future requires that you choose to activate your ability to lead from within. According to Jim Collins, “Leading from within requires that you develop the habit of being aware of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, words and “life messages”. The greatest impact you will have as a leader is the ability to grow and develop the leadership ability of those within your sphere of influence.

This is something I know from experience. On several occasions throughout my 20+ leadership career in the hospitality industry, I was provided the opportunity to lead teams, where teamwork was something that was talked about and rarely demonstrated with consistent action. Recognizing the importance of individuals being able to work in harmony with one another to meet business objectives, on numerous occasions, I had to engage a deliberate process of developing the leadership capacity of staff members to improve the camaraderie, productivity and performance of teams. Much of my success as a leader in the hospitality industry came from my capacity to recognize how developing the leadership capacity of my staff increased employee and customer engagement. As a result, the teams I lead were able to execute legendary service on a consistent basis which created raving fans for the businesses I managed. Thus, those businesses grew year after year in revenue and profits.

Increasing your team's productivity and performance begins with your ability to grow yourself. If you are not growing as a leader, how do you expect to grow your team? It's not going to happen. At least not in the manner that represents the dormant potential dwelling in you and your staff. You want to start strong and finish big in 2014? You need to make your professional development a priority. As you begin to expand your leadership capacity, you will be able to contribute more value in the lives of those within the influence of your leadership. When your team begins to believe that you believe in them and care about their success, you will build relationships based on trust which can be transformed into loyalty towards you and increased discretionary effort towards the achievement of your business objectives and goals. That is, if you choose to make developing your leadership skills a priority.

Below is a series of statements representing effective habits of highly successful people. You'll need a blank sheet of paper, pen or pencil to complete this exercise. Read each of the statements and rate each action based on the consistency in which you display the personal leadership habit. The more honest you are, the more useful the feedback.
Use the following rating guide:
4 = Very much like me
3 = Usually like me
2 = Somewhat like me
1 = Not like me
1). I am decisive.___
2). I reframe from snap judgments about other people.____
3). I manage stress well.____
4). I am responsible and hardworking.____
5). I prioritize my daily activities relevant to my goals.____
6). I usually persist in the face of obstacles to achieve my goals.____
7). I go above and beyond in my relationships.____
8). I am enthusiastic about life.____
9). I work harmoniously with diverse individuals.____
10). I support the success of others with specific actions.____
11). I demonstrate personal leadership in and over my life.____
12). I am warm- hearted and empathetic.____
13). I express my feelings with respect for others.____
14). I respect the opinions of others.____
15). I believe the best about myself.____
16). I believe the best about others.____
17). I spend a great deal of time in positive and support environments.____
18). I quickly acknowledge my mistakes.____
19). I accept the fact that I’m not right all the time.____
20). I recognize the good work of others publicly. ____
21). I pursue constructive criticism from trusted advisers.____
22). I cultivate partnerships to achieve my goals.____
23). I have a vision for the life I want to live.            ____
24). I feel my life has meaning and purpose.____
25). I like to have fun while working on my goals.____
26). I pay attention to the body language of others.____
27). I seek to understand diverse opinions.____
28). I like to get feedback before making decisions.____
29). I am loyal and dependable.____
30). I place a high value on how I get along with others.____
31). I treat everyone the same regardless of their position.____
32). I focus my thoughts and energy on the present.____
33). I live a life of significance.____
34). I am comfortable with pursuing new experiences.____
35). I make financial sacrifices for my future security.____
36). I have shared my impending goals with trusted advisers.____
37). I conduct research to determine the best path to reach my goals.____
38). I am comfortable with asking for help.____
39). I am comfortable with responding to a request with “no”.____
40). I am passionate and committed to my personal and professional success.____
Categorize your personal habits from the self-assessment:
1).Habits which are “Most like me”. (Those statements rated #4)
2).Habits which are “Usually like me”. (Those statements rated#3)
3).Habits which are “Somewhat like me”. (Those statements rated#2)
4).Habits which are “Not like me”. (Those statements rated#1)
5).How have the habits you rated “most like you” and “usually like you” helped you achieve a recent goal or objective?
6).What role, if any, has the habits you rated “somewhat like me” and “not like me” hinder or delay the achievement of a present goal(s) or objective?
7).What insights have you discovered about your personal habits as a result of completing this Lead from Within self-assessment?

As a leader, your capacity to influence the performance of others is crucial to your success. Being aware of personal habits that have both a positive and negative effect on those within your sphere of influence provides you with valuable insights into your capacity to elevate your Leadership IQ.

A key to your leadership effectiveness is self-awareness. One of the most useful ways I know to continue to elevate one's leadership performance is developing the practice of conducting self-assessments of your personal habits on a regular basis. This practice helps you to be mindful of blind spots and enables you to determine which habits of thought and behavior are moving you closer toward a desired aim and which are undermining that process.

Darren L Johnson says, “In order to change unwanted habits and actions, it is important to take the time to get to know yourself.” Conducting regular assessments of your patterns of thought, emotions and behavior helps to shift your thinking from assumptions to the facts of a situation. In the process, you are able to develop insights into yourself which support your capacity to self-manage, a contributing factor to developing mental and emotional fortitude.

I would like to know your thoughts about conducting self-assessments. Have you found that they help you improve your Leadership IQ? Share your comments below.

Please share this article with your network.

Until next time...
Step Into Greatness!
Jackie Capers-Brown

PS. This post is an excerpt from my eBook, Lead to Succeed. All of the proceeds from the sale of this eBook goes towards funding Elevate Leadership and Entrepreneur Mentoring Academy. I am the program's Founding Director. It launches in July 2014 and will serve youth and single parents in the Columbia, SC area. Click here for information about the book. 

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