My Leadership Challenge For You

Here’s my challenge to all leaders in 2013:

WHO will you be?

It’s a great time of the year for all of us to reflect on where we’ve been and where we want to go. The trap that most leaders fall into is that they often reflect on the WHAT and the HOW without considering WHO they are as leaders.  For example, they ask –   WHAT do I want to accomplish this year? WHAT are my goals? And, HOW will I achieve those goals?

The deeper and more meaningful questions to ask first are – WHO you are showing up as today? WHO do you want to be in the future? Then, go to the WHAT and HOW questions.

Asking WHO first will enable you make a more significant contribution to the people around you.  After all, WHO you show up as impacts team member engagement, productivity, and retention more than any other factor. You’ve heard the saying “People don’t leave their organizations. They leave their Managers.”  Addressing WHO first always leads to a more compelling and fulfilling philosophy and way of leading.

Here is a simple three-step WHO-WHAT-HOW process to help get you started. 

Step 1: Determine WHO you are today and WHO you want to be in 2013. The best way to do this is to just start writing about the following. Imagine yourself a year from now reflecting back on 2013. How do you want people to describe WHO you were? What values did you live by? What was important to you? How was that integrated into your leadership style? Get clear on the ideal image you have of yourself as a leader.

Step 2: Identify WHAT focus areas will help you step into your ideal image.  For example, If part of your ideal image as a leader is to stop solving problems for others that they should be solving for themselves, WHAT do you need to do differently? WHAT skills do you need to develop? WHAT goals can you set for yourself?

Step 3: Determine HOW you will make the shift. The HOW is really about the action steps that break down your goals into more tangible chunks. The HOW makes your goals a reality. Most importantly, it helps you make the passage from the leader you are today to the leader you want to be tomorrow.

We’re on the verge of a new year. It’s an opportunity for you to be a new leader.  So this year, take a different path by starting with a deeper question – WHO will you be?

If you’d like a guided approach, apply for a slot in Ignite Leadership 2013. This in-depth Executive Coaching and Leadership Training Program starting in January 2013 will help you go deeper than the standard workshop so that your leadership WHO can have a significant impact on the people around you and to the business.