One of the 5 Essentials of Effective Leadership is knowing who you are and the world you want to influence. Both of these are more difficult than they first appear.
Let’s begin with influence. Before you set your agenda, you have to have a clear vision of the world you want to influence. I’m not talking about all the audiences you will have to intereact with to accomplish your goals. Long before you develop that list, you must look at the larger world into which you want to project your leadership. You need to define that world according to demographics, geography, psycographics, and, perhaps, a dozen other criteria.
That assessment needs to be done in concert with a self-assessment. You need to understand how you think and how you interact with others. To do that you need a good self-evaluation tool that includes honest input from others. Perhaps the best instrument for making this discovery is LSI, the Life Style Inventory developed by Human Synergistics.
The LSI has helped more than 1,000,000 leaders in business and the military strengthen thinking and behavioral styles that promote their effectiveness.
The LSI has also helped them moderate styles that prevent them from realizing their potential. Those 12 styles, that include achievement, self actualizing, avoidance and oppositional are grouped into three categories: constructive, passive/defensive and aggressive/defensive. We use the LSI in our Values-Centered Leadership program to ensure that participants have concrete information and recommendations on which to become more effective leaders.
Understanding how you see yourself and how others see you will help you understand what changes you need to make to become a truly effective leader.
Knowing yourself is more than just knowing how you think. It encompasses your belief system, including your core values. How do your personal values align with the core values of your organization? What drives you? How do you respond in situations where your values are challenged? What habits do you embrace? Our Values-Centered Leadership was developed to help leaders like you answer these questions.
Next time we’ll look at the importance of a clear agenda.