Leadership: How to stay on your best game in 2015

Joseph Dworak
Co-Founder | Leadership Vision Consulting
17th December 2014

As a leader/manager have you wondered if you have the right person in the right job? Do you think this about yourself?

All of us have to deal with staff who are trying to adapt to a new or changed role, but are struggling compared to their peers, and have somehow become ineffective. 

However, we are all exposed to change continually.  Sometimes changes in our business can move us from the familiar and easy to a place of challenge and unclarity.  Unsure of whether we are a good fit, unsure of how well we are doing, of how others perceive us and our efforts.

Of course everyone else expects us to be confident, cheerful and striding out to lead our teams, and so they should. After all, that's what leaders do, that's who they are. Aren't they?

Are you the right person? 2 Tips to Decide...

When you first entered the business you are in, what was it about you that made someone else specifically choose you (versus another candidate or option), as the right person for them?

Tip: have a look down your CV at all the results you have already delivered, and use a highlighter to pick the top 5 statements that reflect your best abilities 'in action'.

Or, if it's your own business, what gave you the confidence that you were the right person to make it happen? What evidence from your past gave you the courage to step out?

Tip: Try making a list of the past experiences which provided the biggest influence on your decision to work where you do now.

  • If you were the right person then, what made that so?
  • Thinking about now, what makes you feel you are still the right person?

If you answered these questions in a positive way it's likely you have been considering the visible results of using your personal strengths, the things which you've done best, and still have greatest potential in. Knowing where you have greatest potential is key, because this does not change. It is your rock, your very own foundation; It's the part you should, and can, be sure about.

You are STILL you, and you CAN be confident of that!

Are you in the right place?

When you started working in your current role there will have been some things that reassured you that the environment you were in was the right place for you to be. 

Maybe it was the management team you joined, a few key line reports you naturally connected with, the type of work and/or the clients/customers you were satisfying, the team or collaborative structure, or just being left alone for long periods to focus your efforts before sharing them. 

One or all of these things could have created a great platform for you to show everyone your best by enabling you to bring your personal strengths to bear on your work.

But business doesn't stand still. Your environment may have shifted from your ideal, leaving you without any clear signposts as to why it feels so different, difficult, or uncomfortable in comparison.

You may just feel like you are 'off your game', and are desperate to catch those clues which will lead you back into winning form. 

What really matters to you?

Tip: List out some business environment factors you remember across several roles you performed well in. Look for their absence in times of struggle.

Got them? Good. 

Next list them out in order of importance to you. Knowing what really matters for you is key to enabling very specific 'tweaks' to the way you work, who you work with and for, and how you actually 'do the doing'.

The goal is to re-create a work environment that triggers your personal strengths, combining the essential mix to leverage both your purpose and ability to do your best work. 

Are you in the right time? Or, Are you doing the right thing, but at the wrong time?

Think about people who have great empathy. If they were listening to someone pour out their issues and then said “I know exactly how you feel”, the impact (and response) could be very different depending on whether they say it after the other has finished speaking, or interrupting 5 seconds in!

Another timing example is one of ‘over use’, where a repeating pattern or behaviour, (such as wanting to fix things that aren’t working well) is used so much that the people on the receiving end around you become overloaded. 

Tip: For your best abilities to work as strengths they must be “life giving” to you, and “life giving to others”. 

You owe it to yourself and those around you to make sure you really are “the right person, in the right place, at the right time”.  When you are, the results can be exponential for you and your company.

For more information about what strengths you have, I recommend taking the Clifton Strengthsfinder tool, to take the test visit the Gallup Strength Center


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