A few years ago, I had the fortune of leading a small college campus in Northwest Indiana as their Campus President. It was an exciting opportunity that I stepped into and began to lead as I had in other positions I had held in the past. We were growing. We were profitable. The students were happy. All was going well…or so I thought.
About a year or so into leading the campus, the organization decided to institute a 360 degree evaluation. This meant that everyone who worked at the campus had an opportunity to give me feedback on my performance and leadership. The results of this evaluation were not good. You see, I was managing the campus – making decisions, having meetings, and moving things forward. But, I wasn’t taking the time to be a leader. The results were there, but leadership was absent.
As leaders we often do not receive direct feedback on our performance, do we? Those that we lead smile and do their jobs, when they’re around us. But then they leave our office or leave a meeting full of feelings of discouragement, confusion, anger, apathy, etc. etc. All because we fail to lead well.
So, rather than wait on a 360 degree evaluation to tell us that we are doing a horrible job as a leader, I believe we should assess ourselves regularly to know if we are being effective as leaders or not. Here are 3 questions that you can/should ask yourself regularly to assess your leadership:
1. Am I regularly asking for and receiving feedback from those that I lead? And, when I receive feedback, what am I doing with the information I get? Am I making a change?
2. Do I have a system to grow in my leadership? What am I reading each week to be a better leader? Who is mentoring me? What conferences am I attending?
3. In what ways am I showing those that I lead that I care about/for them? How and how often am I saying thank you? Who am I investing in? Who is farthest away from my leadership touch that I can encourage this week?
I’m sure there are many more questions. But, if you’ll ask yourself these 3 (okay, maybe there were more) questions every week, you’ll become a better leader. Self-assessment should be as natural and frequent as your assessment of others’ performance. Post below and let me know some other questions you think of when you’re assessing your performance as a leader?