How do you compare to the average leader?

I have sat down with more than 1,000 leaders using 360 degree feedback to discuss their development needs and help them develop plans to be a better leader. Here are some common themes I found with many leaders. Read on to see how your leadership style compares? How would your team describe your leadership? How accurate would your self assessment be?

Typical leader strengths

  • Results focus
  • Technical skills (people often rise to a leadership role due to having good technical skills)
  • Accepting Accountability (people often get a leadership role by showing they can take things on)
  • Commercial acumen
  • Planning & organising

Common leadership challenges

  • Coaching & developing people (many people arrive in a leadership role having never formally learnt how to coach effectively)
  • Managing performance and giving feedback
  • Managing conflict
  • Motivating individuals and teams
  • Delegating – do too much themselves
  • Leading change & innovation
  • Building a team

Don’t be average when it comes to leading people and teams!

Here is a simple checklist to test yourself. How many items can you answer “Yes”?

  • I have developed and follow a structured set of people management processes (I do not rely on gut feeling and “make up” people activities without any foundation for success)
  • I have done some serious research and reading about leadership
  • I rely upon multiple resources for my leadership direction (e.g. not just one book or one mentor)
  • I seek feedback about my leadership from the people I interact with
  • I act on the feedback I receive
  • I am disciplined and consistently follow through with my personal leadership development activities
  • I use existing organisational people systems and processes effectively
  • I set clear performance objectives for individuals and my team as a whole
  • I have a structured coaching process
  • I consistently review individual and team performance against the agreed objectives and performance measures
  • I provide people and my team with constructive and timely feedback
  • I have an informal performance or coaching discussion with each of my direct staff at least once a month
  • I work closely with people to create development objectives that are specific, measurable and focused on short time frames
  • I give people useful resources that are relevant to the specific skills they need to develop
  • I meet regularly with people to to review progress against their development plans
  • I know the steps to deal with conflict promptly and effectively
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Mark Sinclair, Co-founder, Spark Chart