Everywhere I (Lee) turn, I hear people talking about the need to increase performance via new processes and/or raising employee engagement. Great ideas, but change and growth must start with leaders first, and that’s a nasty proposition for many leaders who have done the same thing for most of their careers.
I was coaching a CEO who was a fine man and great at getting results, but he had been with the company for a year and hardly knew his team. He told me, “Being relational is just not me. I don’t do that well.” So, we adapted his strengths to create a spreadsheet to help manage his struggles. We listed all his people across the top and then in column one, listed seven specific things he could do to build a relationship and encourage each one.
His job was to get those boxes checked off, and he became more relational by adapting his strengths to manage his struggles.
Here are 7 practical ways that all of us can immediately begin to grow –
- Believe in yourself. Courageously set aside your doubts and fears and any underlying pride.
- Assess to gain self-awareness. Gain insights—use assessments, and objective feedback, so you know what needs work.
- Plan. Develop a simple plan on how you will adapt. For example, pick two areas of struggle.
- Be humble—go public. Let others know that you are working on these two areas of growth.
- Practice. List specific situations in which you will adapt (maybe use a spreadsheet).
- Be accountable. Ask for feedback on successes and missed opportunities.
- Courageously commit to the long haul. Coach yourself; it will probably never become completely natural.
Please add your advice and wisdom to this conversation by posting below.
Also read and watch this month’s full blog on this topic – “How Innovative Leaders are Breaking Newton’s Laws”