As leaders, many of us have spent way too much time pursuing “generic” leadership advice that passes over our natural leadership strengths, forcing us to adopt a leadership style that just doesn’t seem to fit…or work. For any number of reasons, this tends to be especially true for women leaders.
However, understanding and putting your natural leadership strengths to work are precisely what is needed to inspire, empower and activate your team. The DiSC Work of Leaders leadership self-assessment* allows you to evaluate your own leadership behaviors against 18 evidence-based leadership best practices. You will uncover your natural leadership strengths, learn when to turn them on — and when it’s best to turn them down.
Where does your leadership style fit along each of the Visioning best-practice continua? The Work of Leaders leadership assessment tool will help you uncover the answers.
- Remain Open
When in the Visioning stage, it is critical to remain open to input from all levels of the organization. Ask and listen, ask and listen…and then do it again. A “shared vision” is much more powerful than a “solo vision.”
- Look at the Big Picture
When you are able to look at the big picture, you are better able see where a particular course of action might lead. This “thinking ahead” approach can help you test out all those ideas you were open to, and quickly determine which to keep and which to toss.
- Be Adventurous
You don’t have to be a mountain climber to tap into your adventurous spirit and develop a bold vision. When you have plenty of information and the right people in your corner, stepping out of your comfort zone and taking chances can help you create a transformative vision.
- Speak Out
If you want to create a vision that inspires, you must speak up and share your unique ideas and opinions – no matter how ‘crazy’ they may seem. This is not the time to be meek. Plus, when you share your ideas, you’re creating a culture where others will feel at home sharing their “out-of-the-box” ideas.
- Seek Counsel
As women leaders, we often think we need to “do it alone.” However, the best leaders, regardless of gender, seek the counsel of others as they build a powerful vision. Seeking counsel means mining ideas to gain a fresh perspective on questions and problems that might crop up along the way…or risk leaving potentially valuable insights on the table.
- Explore Implications
While leadership is often about pushing forward, gathering objective information is key to creating a vision that will lead your organization where you want to go. You must take the time to evaluate your ideas and test your assumptions against reality.
Great leaders always begin with a great Vision. Once crystalized, they work to Align the team around that vision before Executing. Subsequent articles will share “Alignment” and “Execution” best practices. Taken together, these 18 leadership best practices are a formidable tool to building a powerful vision, team and organization.
Ready to be at the top of your leadership game? We can work together to uncover and leverage your natural leadership strengths. Our CEO Vision Quick Start program may be just the thing. I also invite you to contact me for a 15-minute complimentary conversation to learn more about the Work of Leaders leadership self-assessment and how you can uncover your natural leadership strengths and put them to work.
* (Work of Leaders; attributed to Straw, Scullard, Kukkonen, Davis. www.workofleaders.com. Wiley, 2013).
Image credit: Euvataction