Published Date: 07/21/2014
By Reneé Watkins
Some people are just naturally great leaders from the beginning. However, it is important to ask how great leaders stay great leaders over time as the world around them continues to change at a rapid pace.
Leaders are expected to stay in tune with changes in their industry, changes in the dynamics of their operations, financial strategies and the demographics of their workforce. With all of this change happening simultaneously, leaders sometimes need to alter how they lead in order to remain effective.
What are the behaviors of great leaders that enable them to understand their current leadership abilities and how they may need to adjust to stay consistent and driven with their decisions? Here are some things many great leaders practice in one form or another:
- Know Who You Are – Observe your own behaviors and reflect on them. Learning is best achieved by accumulating a variety of experiences. Stay present enough in your interactions and decisions to observe your own strengths and weaknesses.
- Know Your Values – Everyone has three to five core values they refer to when making decisions and interacting with others. For example, integrity, fairness and trust may be values you feel are important. Knowing your values creates an ability to make a decision and move forward. If you do not know what you value, your actions may be inconsistent and lead others to believe you are unsure of yourself.
- Know How Others See You – How other people see you and evaluate your behaviors can be very informative and help you to improve your leadership skills. The best way to get the most honest feedback is through anonymous questionnaires. Another way is to solicit honest feedback from your peers. External consultants can also be brought in to observe and offer their opinions and suggestions.
- Reflect and Analyze – Many leaders are so driven to action, they rarely take the time to reflect on their decisions and analyze how they might have been better or more clear. There is always room for improvement, even in the best of leaders. As a leader of employees, your audience is frequently changing either by growth or attrition. Therefore, new ways of communication may become necessary to effectively lead. Always take the time to look back over your leadership qualities and seek to improve.