December – A leader’s month of introspection!
January 02, 2019
Time has indeed flown byand we are already speeding on the homestretch of the calendar year. Leaders are opportunists and optimists, and hence this is an opportune time to critically introspect the decisions and actions made over the course of the year. Leaders must question themselves freely and evaluate where they may have gone wrong. This can comprise innumerable areas, but they must typically revolve around the following fundamentals.
- “Have I lived up to be a true leader?” – It is a must for leaders to ponder whether they have led by example in terms of performance, effort, discipline and perseverance. A true leader must be the epitome of mental strength because an entire organization looks up to him/her for direction and purpose. In addition, apart from reviewing their intelligent quotient over the year, it is equally critical to analyse the emotional quotient considering an organization is a social institution before anything else – whether they have empathised with their colleagues and looked at the bigger picture at times.
- “How have I accepted feedback?” – Accepting constructive criticism and feedback with humility, courage and discipline is immensely crucial for growth. Leaders can only manage to observe their actions and words through their own set of perspectives; others offer different ones. Hence, there lies even an iota of truth in each one and it is best to question what can be learnt from the feedbacks they receive rather than become unnecessarily defensive.
- “How have I given feedback?” – One may think that a true leader provides feedback in a manner where the tables were turned. However, this isn’t always the best route because each person is different from the other. Hence, offering feedback must vary pertaining to the probable responses from each individual. For instance, an introvert would require gentle feedback, whereas certain extroverted individuals would stir a positive fire in their bellies. In addition, one must review whether ‘feed-forward’ was given following ‘feedback’. Leaders can also guide and can show their colleagues the right paths and attitude, and offering feedforward is crucial to bringing the best out of colleagues and employees.
- “What can I let go off?” – Some leaders often set themselves up for failure when they have too much on their plate. It is hence advisable to delegate and recruit effectively in order to make room for something better. This will at the same time empower employees to shoulder more responsibility thereby making a more collaborative company. Sometimes, certain rudimentary elements (varies with experience) must be delegated in order to create cohesion giving way to dwell into other opportunities of growth.
While these questions are crucial for introspection and in turn growth,leaders must not feel too disheartened if they have failed in either or all of these facets. Failures are inevitable in any organization and the key lies in constant analysis, learning and progress. A truthful annual review can catapult leaders to the silver lining awaiting them the following year. Change and learning are the only constants of business and life.