But there’s another, equally powerful way. Take a serious look at your beliefs – your “assumed truths” about yourself, others and how the world works.
Your beliefs dictate your behavior. And unexamined beliefs are like icebergs. Unseen below the surface, they can undermine your good intentions without your awareness.
Instead of believing everything you think, think about what you really believe.
Taking some time to reflect on these questions will help uncover some assumptions that might be interfering with your ability to align your behavior with your intentions to be a better leader.
1. What are you are willing to take a stand for?
When you know what you hold most dearly, what you really value, you can make conscious decisions based on your values.
Leaders of great teams have unswerving commitment to what they believe in. Their consistency inspires confidence and trust in their followers, and sets a standard for them as well.
“Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything.” ~ Alexander Hamilton
2. What do you believe will happen if you let go of control?
When you trust in the potential of others, you naturally stop trying to control all the details, and delegating comes naturally. Leaders of great teams have enthusiasm and positive regard for others. They create opportunities for their people to stretch and assume responsibility.
“What is needed is leaders who are interested in developing leadership in others.” ~ Ella J. Baker
3. What do you really believe about making mistakes?
Strong leaders admit their mistakes and take responsibility for the impact. And then they focus their energies on learning, so they don’t repeat the same mistake.
When something goes wrong, you can wallow in blame or realize it is truly an opportunity to invest in your future and move forward.
“If you have the guts to keep making mistakes, your wisdom and intelligence leap forward with huge momentum.” ~ Holly Near
4. What standards do you set for yourself?
Your character is your greatest source of influence, no matter what your role or position. Your character is the expression of who you are. And influential character is built on a foundation of integrity.
Do you speak up when an ethic has been violated or do you make excuses for minor infractions and look the other way? What do you do with managers who produce great work but are difficult bosses? Do you promote them, transfer them, or confront their behavior?
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
5. What are your expectations for your team?
The truth is your team can only be as great as you believe it can be, or as great as you believe you can be. Your expectations for your team are a reflection of your expectations for yourself.
Leaders of great teams are not content with the status quo. They set challenging goals for themselves and their team that result in more impressive achievements.
“Always shoot for the bulls-eye. If you miss, at least you’ll hit the target.” ~Don Shula