18 Statements to Answer

18 Statements to AnswerNot at AllRarelySome- timesOftenVery Often
1When assigning tasks, I consider people’s skills and interests.
2I doubt myself and my ability to succeed.
3I expect nothing less than top-notch results from people.
4I expect my people to work harder than I do.
5When someone is upset, I try to understand how he or she is feeling.
6When circumstances change, I can struggle to know what to do.
7I think that personal feelings shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way of performance and productivity.
8I am highly motivated because I know I have what it takes to be successful.
9Time spent worrying about team morale is time that’s wasted.
10I get upset and worried quite often in the workplace.
11My actions show people what I want from them.
12When working with a team, I encourage everyone to work toward the same overall objectives.
13I make exceptions to my rules and expectations. It’s easier than being the enforcer all the time!
14I enjoy planning for the future.
15I feel threatened when someone criticizes me.
16I make time to learn what people need from me, so that they can be successful.
17I’m optimistic about life, and I can see beyond temporary setbacks and problems.
18I think that teams perform best when individuals keep doing the same tasks and perfecting them, instead of learning new skills and challenging themselves.

Total Score = 66

Score Interpretation

ScoreComment
18-34You need to work hard on your leadership skills. The good news is that if you use more of these skills at work, at home, and in the community, you’ll be a real asset to the people around you. You can do it – and now is a great time to start! (Read  below  to start.)
35-52You’re doing OK as a leader, but you have the potential to do much better. While you’ve built the foundation of effective leadership, this is your opportunity to improve your skills, and become the best you can be. Examine the areas where you lost points, and determine what you can do to develop skills in these areas. (Read  below  to start.)
53-90Excellent! You’re well on your way to becoming a good leader. However, you can never be too good at leadership or too experienced – so look at the areas where you didn’t score maximum points, and figure out what you can do to improve your performance. (Read  below  to start.)

There are many leadership skills and competencies that, when combined and applied, go toward making you an effective leader. You have the ability to develop each of these skills within yourself. Read on for specific ideas on how you can improve your leadership skills!

Personal Characteristics

Successful leaders tend to have certain traits. Two keys areas of personal growth and development are fundamental to leadership success: self-confidence and a positive attitude.

Self-confident people are usually inspiring, and people like to be around individuals who believe in themselves and in what they’re doing. Likewise, if you’re a positive and optimistic person who tries to make the best of any situation, you’ll find it much easier to motivate people to do their best.

Self-Confidence

(Questions 2, 8)

Your score is 7 out of 10       

Self-confidence is built by mastering significant skills and situations, and by knowing that you can add real value by the work you do. One of the best ways to improve your confidence is to become aware of all of the things you’ve already achieved.

Our article on  Building Self-Confidence   explains what you can do to understand yourself better and build your self-confidence. From there, you’ll begin to make the most of your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Explore this further with our Bite-Sized Training session on  Personal SWOT Analysis .

Positive Attitude and Outlook

(Questions 10, 17)

Your score is 8 out of 10       

A positive mindset is also associated with strong leadership. However, being positive is much more than presenting a happy face to the world: you need to develop a strong sense of balance, and recognize that setbacks and problems happen – it’s how you deal with those problems that makes the difference.

Positive people approach situations realistically, prepared to make the changes necessary to overcome a problem. Negative people, on the other hand, often give in to the stress and pressure of the situation. This can lead to fear, worry, distress, anger and failure.

Stress management techniques, including getting enough    Rest, Relaxation and Sleep   as well as physical exercise, are great ways of getting rid of negative thoughts and feelings. Understanding your thinking patterns, and learning to identify and eliminate negative thinking, are key. You can learn how to do this in our article on  Thought Awareness, Rational Thinking and Positive Thinking  , and you can find out how to become more optimistic in our Book Insight on  Learned Optimism .

Emotional Intelligence

(Questions 5, 15)

Your score is 9 out of 10       

The concept of emotional intelligence used to be referred to as “soft skills,” “character,” or even “communication skills.” The more recent idea of  Emotional Intelligence   (EQ) offers a more precise understanding of a specific kind of human talent. EQ is the ability to recognize feelings – your own and those of others – and manage those emotions to create strong relationships.

Learning to develop  Empathy   is essential for emotional intelligence, as is communicating effectively, and practicing  Empathic Listening . These all help you really understand the other person’s perspective.

Our Leadership area has a section on  emotional intelligence in leadership .

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is a leadership style where leaders create an inspiring vision of the future, motivate their followers to achieve it, manage implementation successfully, and develop the members of their teams to be even more effective in the future. We explore these dimensions below.

Providing a Compelling Vision of the Future

(Questions 6, 14)

Your score is 6 out of 10       

This is your ability to create a robust and compelling  vision of the future  , and to present this vision in a way that inspires the people you lead.

The first part of being able to do this is to have a thorough knowledge of the area you’re operating in. See our Bite-Sized Training session on  Building Expert Power  to find out how to develop this.

From there, good use of strategic analysis techniques can help you gain the key insights you need into the environment you’re operating in, and into the needs of your clients. See our Strategysection for more than 50 powerful techniques that give you these insights.

With these tools, you can explore the challenges you face and identify the options available to you. You can identify the best of these with good use of  prioritization skills   and appropriate  decision-making techniques  .

Finally, to sell your vision, you need to be able to craft a compelling and interesting story. Our article,  Powers of Persuasion  , can help you open closed minds, so that people consider your ideas fairly. Another great way of inspiring people is to use vivid stories to explain your vision: find out more about this in our Expert Interview with Annette Simmons, titled  Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins .

Motivating People to Deliver the Vision

(Questions 9, 12)

Your score is 8 out of 10       

This is closely related to creating and selling a vision. You must be able to convince others to accept the objectives you’ve set. Emphasize teamwork, and recognize that when people work together, they can achieve great things. To provide effective leadership by linking performance and team goals, use  Management by Objectives (MBO)   and  Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)  .

Ultimately, you need to motivate people to deliver your vision. To better understand your ability to motivate, complete our quiz  How Good Are Your Motivation Skills?  , and explore our articles on  Herzberg’s Motivators and Hygiene Factors  and Sirota’s Three Factor Theory .

Being a Good Role Model

(Questions 4, 11)

Your score is 7 out of 10       

Good leaders  lead by example  . They do what they say, and say what they do. These types of leaders are trustworthy, and show integrity. They get involved in daily work where needed, and they stay in touch with what’s happening throughout the organization. Great leaders don’t just sit in their offices and give orders – they demonstrate the actions and values that they expect from the team.

As with building vision, above, a key part of being a good role model is leading from the front by developing  expert power  . A leader can’t rely on position alone: by keeping current, and staying relevant within the organization, you’ll inspire people because you’re worthy of your power and authority, not just because you’re the boss.

Managing Performance Effectively

(Questions 3, 13)

Your score is 8 out of 10       

Effective leaders manage performance by setting their expectations clearly and concisely. When everyone knows what’s expected, it’s much easier to get high performance. There’s little uncertainty, therefore you can deal with performance issues quickly. And if things have already started to slide, our article on  Re-Engaging Team Members   offers some excellent tips for turning a negative situation back to a positive one.

As you create rules, help your team members to understand  why the rules are there  . Involve them in the rule-making process, and make sure that your expectations align with the resources and support available. Apply rules fairly and consistently.

Providing Support and Stimulation

(Questions 1, 7, 16, 18)

Your score is 13 out of 20       

To be highly motivated at work, people need more than a list of tasks to be completed each day. They need challenges and interesting work. They need to develop their skills, and to feel supported in their efforts to do a good job.

Think about your approach to  Task Allocation  , and look for opportunities to match people with jobs and responsibilities that will help them to grow and develop. Use  Heron’s Six Categories of Intervention   to decide when and how to help them to shine. Regularly perform  Training Needs Assessments   to determine what your team needs to be successful.

Remember that emotional support is also important. The  Blake-Mouton Managerial Grid   is a great tool for thinking about the right balance between concern for people and productivity.

Key Points

To be successful in your career, regardless of your title or position, focus on developing your leadership skills.

Effective leaders can add value simply by being present on teams. They are inspirational and motivating. They know the right things to say to people to help them understand what’s needed, and they can convince people to support a cause.

When you have talented and effective leaders in your organization, you’re well on your way to success. Develop these leadership skills in yourself and in your team members – and you’ll see the performance and productivity of your entire team improve.