An individual who factors self-reflection into their everyday development is on their way to becoming a great leader. To advance, managers have to ask themselves regularly if their performance is in line with their leadership goals. The evidence can be in how well their team is performing and the results they have achieved.
To that end, 10 Young Entrepreneur Council members each shared one question managers should ask themselves to ensure they’re becoming the best leaders they can be. Try to reflect on these questions yourself if you want to gauge your own performance and efficacy as a leader.
1. Am I expecting my entire team to perform and think just like me?
Too many times our expectations are out of line and we lose sight. Managing is teaching. You have to be intentional and embrace the idea that everyone will perform a bit differently and still meet their goals. Remember to give your team the autonomy to take your lessons and put them into action in their own way. – Drew Gurley, Redbird Advisors
2. Am I focusing on my team’s strengths?
As a manager, it’s important to keep in mind the individual strengths each team member brings to the table. Not everyone will perform the same, so it’s vital to assess that everyone’s strengths are recognized, acknowledged and highlighted. Expecting the same from each person leads to discouragement and burnout. – Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR
3. Am I clearly communicating with my team?
Managers should ask themselves whether or not they’re clearly communicating their expectations to their team. Failure is the result of expectations not being met, and when there are no clear expectations, there will almost always be some level of failure or disappointment. Make sure that as a manager you’re able to express the goal and your expectations to your team. – Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.
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4. Am I balancing both small and large tasks?
Ask yourself if you are balancing both daily tasks and the big picture. With the transition to remote work for people’s safety in this pandemic, sometimes employees can find trouble balancing their new responsibilities with changed expectations. When you have multiple demanding clients as well as the desired game, you want to achieve everything but have to step back to assess the situation. – Duran Inci, Optimum7
5. How could things be better?
I thrive on feedback. I always ask each member of my team, “How could things be better?” Then I make a point of truly listening, rather than simply waiting for my turn to speak. Beyond the one question, create a culture where your team can speak their mind with you. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts
6. Who have I helped today?
I’ve always loved to ask myself at the end of every day, “Who have I helped today?” This especially pertains to the workplace, but can also apply to many areas of my life. Asking myself this really helps me reflect on how I’ve helped others. Whether it was teaching them something, answering their question or setting aside time to meet with them, anything that helped them counts. – John Hall, Calendar
7. Am I working on the right problems?
This is a question a good leader asks frequently as they lead their teams through problem-solving strategies that steer the organization towards a shared goal. Now this question will have many answers from different sources. One would be the speed of execution of your plans as a leader. Solve communication, talent or vision problems for effective execution. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS – Integrated Marketing Solutions
8. Am I hitting my monthly goals?
“Am I hitting all of my monthly goals and is my team hitting all of their goals? If not, what can I do better?” This question will help a manager or entrepreneur ensure they and their team are staying on track or evaluate where things can be optimized. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
9. Am I fostering an environment that pushes employees to meet their full potential?
Understand as a leader the reciprocity of the manager-employee relationship. Managers often think of this relationship as a one-way street (employees helping the business meet its goals), but it goes both ways. A great leader will activate the potential within each employee so they can achieve their long-term goals. – Cooper Harris, Klickly
10. Are there any mental blocks I should deal with?
We’re so caught up with going forward and meeting goals that we don’t see the mental blocks we hold inside. Mental blocks can include imposter syndrome, fear of missing out or other matters. Taking the time to clear blocks can bring you forward faster than focusing on your end goal only. – Blair Williams, MemberPress