Assessing your own leadership impact
nearly the end of the year, and always a good time to reflect both
backwards and forwards. When you look at your performance over the
year, can you see where you really progressed as a leader? And
can you see where you would like to develop?
at your own performance isn't always easy - after all, how you perform
as a leader depends pretty much on how other people respond to you, so
what you are really trying assess is how others see you and the impact
you have on them.
been working with leaders and senior managers for more than 25 years
now, and the keys I see to people being able to lift themselves as
leaders is insight in both knowing themselves, and understanding the
effect they have on other people.
leaders make the effort to really discover how they impact others. They
learn to see themselves through the eyes of others, and doing so,
develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the needs of those
around them. They see, and accept how they
are perceived, and have a strong foundation of authenticity to create
real connections with individuals whether one-to-one or in groups. This
means going beyond feedback, and really experiencing how you impact
The main thing I see in effective leaders is they create two-way connections; mutual relationships.
Some indicators of mutual relationships are:
- People feel included by you
- People feel free to approach you
- People confide in you
- People feel OK in pushing back with you, letting you know what they think
- Peers, bosses and staff come and ask you for your view on things
- People like working with you
- When you are in groups, you have a good sense of what people are thinking and feeling and what you am ARE thinking and feeling
- People around you get things done
- You respond to challenging questions simply
- You know how to connect with people.
leaders tend to move beyond offering expertise and advice in their
specialist area. Peers, staff and bosses seek them out for
opinions, discussion and their sound judgment on the big issues around
like this have a high level of what I call "executive presence".
You know when you are with someone with executive presence. You want to
hear from them, and you want to find out more from them. These are the
people that others look to for guidance and direction. In being with
them, people are inspired to action.
is unlike leaders who may be technically brilliant but tend not bring
their "selves" to the role either in their connections with others, or
in their responses to developments and decisions in the workplace. One
consequence is that they themselves can feel invisible, unheard or
So can you build executive presence? Or is it something leaders are born with?
I work with people both individually and in groups on developing executive presence and have seen some great results.
Some of the key results people I work with on executive presence want to see are:
- I am sought after to lead cross government projects
- Peers, bosses and stakeholders seek me out for my views
- I make positive first impressions without needing content
- I take risks when the stakes are high reputationally - when someone pushes back on my view, I choose my response
- I am seen as approachable, influential and easy to work with.
If you think any of these are things you would like to work on next year, get in touch with Diana to see if any of her programmes might suit.