Children astound me with their inquisitive minds. The world is wide and mysterious to them, and as they piece together the puzzle of life, they ask €œWhy? ceaselessly. Why can`t they have another cookie? Why can`t they stay up after 9:00 pm? Why do they have to share their toys? Why does grandpa have white hair?
As we age, it seems our childlike curiosity diminishes. Yet, after all I have learned, I realize there`s even more I`ve not yet discovered. Through my leadership journey I`ve tried to keep my mind open to growth by continuing to probe for new ideas. In this edition of Leadership Wired, I`d like to share with you the questions I regularly ask myself as a leader.
Questions I Ask Myself
Am I investing in myself? This is a personal growth question. Lifelong learners have a common set of characteristics:(1) They develop a personal growth plan.
(2) They possess a teachable attitude.
(3) They invest in growth-oriented resources and relationships.
(4) They continually leave their comfort zone.
(5) They capture what they learn by applying their knowledge.
(6) They reflect on what they learn and turn experience into insight.
(7) They pass on what they learn to others.
Am I Genuinely Interested In Others?This is a motive question.Leaders see before others see, and they see more than others see. Since leaders €œfigure it out first, they can be tempted to take advantage of others. Self-centered leaders manipulate when they move people for personal benefit. Mature leaders motivate by moving people for mutual benefit. They place what`s best for others above themselves.
Am I Doing What I Love and Loving What I Do?This is a passion question.You will never fulfill your destiny doing work you despise. You are nothing unless it comes from your heart. If you go to work only to cycle through rote processes and functions, then you are effectively retired. It scares me when most people I see, by age 28, are retired. To be a difference-maker, you have to bring passion, commitment, and caring to your career. Passion gives you the energy advantage over others.
Am I Investing My Time with the Right People?This is a relationship question.Most people can trace their successes and failures to the relationships in their lives. Be selective about who you join with on the leadership journey. Choose companions with a commitment to personal growth, a healthy attitude, and high potential.
Am I Staying in My Strength Zone?This is an effectiveness question.Effective leaders stop working on their weaknesses and diligently develop their strengths. You don`t have to be a jack of all trades. Delegation frees you to focus on what only you can offer to your organization.
Am I Taking Others to a Higher Level?This is a mission question.My success is determined by the seeds I sow, not the harvest I reap. My life mission is to add value to leaders who will multiply value to others. Leaders add value to others rather than accumulating value for themselves.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best: €œLife’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?
Am I Taking Care of Today?This is a success question.The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. Are the habits in your life steering your toward success or simply frittering away your time? Be serious about making each day count.
Am I Taking Time To Think?This is a leadership question.A minute of thought is greater than an hour of talk. Taking time to think allows you to live life purposefully. Don`t let life`s circumstances dictate your path or allow the expectations of others to determine your course. Author your own life by clearing your schedule for thinking.
Am I Developing Leaders?This is a legacy question.€œThe ultimate test for a leader is not whether he or she makes smart decisions and takes decisive action, but whether he or she teaches others to be leaders and builds an organization that can sustain its success even when he or she is not around. True leaders put ego aside and strive to create successors who go beyond them.
~ Lorin Woolfe
Am I Pleasing God?This is an eternity question.In the light of history, our years are short and our days are few. Yet, our lives have greater significance than we can imagine. As the Roman general, Maximus, exhorts his men in Gladiator, €œWhat we do in life echoes in eternity. Live your life honorably and with a clean conscience before God and your fellow man. Focus your effort on worthwhile causes that will outlast your time on this planet.
Source : Leadership Wired
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