Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What is Your Leadership Character?

Take a few moments to consider the basic issues of leadership. An important question to ask yourself is, "Am I a serving leader, or a self-serving leader?" If you can answer this question with absolute honesty, you will have gone to the very core, or center, of your intentions and motivations as a leader.

You can tell the difference between a leader who serves another vs. a self-serving leader by observing how they handle feedback and criticism. If the leader is focused on his/her own needs (ie, self-serving) and career, they will be more worried about their own jobs, pay check or other problems instead of listening to what you are saying to them. They may even be worried that by helping you, or talking with you, that they could be in jeopardy of losing their jobs.

The leader who is more interested in serving their own needs will spend the majority of their time protecting their job and status. Imagine how a leader like this would respond to any sort of feedback you might give them. Of course, they will respond very negatively! Why? Because they may think that your feedback means that you are rejecting them or their leadership and influence.

A leader who is truly interested in serving your needs, or the needs of others will look at the act of leadership as a service. Service leaders not only welcome, but will usually seek out feedback as a useful source of information and a tool they can use to improve upon their service.

"Effective leadership starts on the inside." Ken Blanchard

If you are a "leader in training" or an aspiring leader of any sort, I recommend you take a few moments to think about your own leadership character. Use it as a tool and spring board to change up your own professional development and training. Use the serving leadership principles right away and I guarantee you will see positive results!