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Consulting Network: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself as a Leader

Personal and professional growth can be challenging within the whirlwind many leaders experience as they turn from strategy session to problem resolution to team mediation to document review and presentation preparation. Without making space to reflect on the day’s events as well as broader questions, though, there’s no opportunity to identify areas to improve or situations to facilitate, leaving your leadership stagnant.

Taking the time for regular reflection, daily if possible, will improve your leadership. It will put you in good company, as well: Ben Franklin was known to ask himself daily throughout his adult life, “What good have I done today?” Below are a few questions the consultants in the FCCS Consulting Network suggest for today’s leaders to reflect on as they explore how they can best serve their organizations.

Jeannie Clinkenbeard, Director and Senior Consultant

What decisions are my team members waiting for me to make?

It’s a fact of business life that many tasks and projects need manager input or decisions, even as simple as approval for them to continue moving forward. When those decisions are delayed, progress slams to a halt, putting the team and business behind and diminishing employee enthusiasm. When outside deadlines are looming, it’s especially stressful for employees waiting for an answer from their leader. While you may delay hoping for the perfect, risk-free decision, it’s often true that the best available decision is better than no decision at all.

Jay Lux, Vice President of Leadership and Organizational Development

How am I most relevant – to my organization, to my team, to my colleagues?

We humans are creatures of habit, and so it’s easy to want to do the same over
and over, whether or not it actually adds value or makes sense anymore. By asking ourselves “How am I most relevant?” we can identify and explore how we contribute to our team’s and organization’s success. This could be a daily reflection of how you’ve been most relevant that day, which over time could reveal trends or learning pathways; it should also include regular, deeper reflection – even quarterly – around how you’ve been relevant, and how you can continue to be so in the future.

Michele Padilla, Director and Senior Consultant

Am I doing the right things to set my staff up for success?

This can include resources, access, training, experiences and opportunities, and works best when leaders first identify and explore the talents and goals of each team member so they can then match individuals up with the right tools. It also contributes to staff success when they have the opportunity to be creative and innovative, and suggest improvements even to the most entrenched of processes so the team can be prepared for whatever comes their way.

John Regentin, Vice President of Experiential Leadership

Am I aligning my own actions and attitudes with what I’m asking of my team?

Strong relationships and effective teams are built on mutual trust and respect, which are undermined in the face of hypocrisy. It’s essential that leaders “walk their talk” and demonstrate the behaviors they expect of their team. If they’re advocating for transparency, they need to be forthcoming; if they’re embracing inclusion, they need to welcome new ideas. In a time when top talent can easily walk out the door, leaders need to engage with their teams with integrity and model the behaviors they expect their teams to embrace.

Jean Cantey Segal, Chief Learning Officer

What is the right way of bringing clarity to a situation within your team?

In any organization, communication is never perfect and responsibilities are not always clear. Add to that the differing opinions and approaches to work and it’s no wonder that team members occasionally experience interpersonal struggles, both within and outside the group. These situations can impede productivity and lead to communication breakdowns, strife and disengagement. As a leader, you can facilitate your team members’ solutions to these situations by helping them consider new approaches that will lead to a constructive outcome, being sure to consider how best to do this in each individual case, given the specific problem and the people involved.

For more information on the FCCS Consulting Network and its coaching and
facilitation services, contact Jean Cantey Segal at 303.721.3278 or via email. We look forward to hearing how we can assist your leaders and teams.

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