Why do you think you are the right candidate for this role?
This is one of the most common questions recruiters ask applicants, if they ever get shortlisted to this stage of the interview process. Surprisingly, many leaders get to be asked this same question as they rise in ranks and begin to command authority, but not very many seem to bother to answer; most especially, when it is muttered beneath the breath of their team members.
Truly, as a leader, do you honestly ask yourself, if you’re the right person to be holding your position? Great leaders reflect on their everyday performance by engaging in a lot of self-awareness exercises, listening more than they speak and asking for feedbacks, as well as engage their team members in constructive feed forward process, which makes everyone resoundingly be on the same page with the goals, visions and expectations of the team.
How do you continuously demonstrate that you are indeed right to be a leader? What examples do you constantly lay down, for how things should be done? What sort of influence do you have on the people with whom you work?
These are three key questions every leader must be able to clearly answer, for an insight into how deserving you are, of having people to lead.
What most leaders don’t understand is that the outcomes of their team members, in terms of the goals achieved, results recorded, income generated, customer satisfaction, etc., is a direct reflection of the leadership quality.
Whilst most of us, as leaders, believe in the power and the opportunity to appraise team members, review their performance and perhaps judge behaviour, maybe an in depth investigation of, “what about me, is being reflected here?”, should be a point of reckoning, when next you need to carry out any of these leadership tasks.
It is always rewarding whenever you’re able to reflect on events just gone, achievements in the past year, and consider the learning for you and your team members, which leads to a joint plan of action moving forward.
How this helped
Over the years, I discovered that being open to discussing leadership skills and how it affects job performance made my team performed better, instead of throwing tasks at them and expect to review performance after tasks have been completed. It became my common practice to remind team members that, e.g., “being able to submit a quality report by deadline, not only shows that you have sound time management skills, it helps you demonstrate that you are preparing yourself for something greater, even if it takes a while.” Instead of just throwing tasks and stipulating that it has to be presented by certain timescale, I attach snippets of what a great outcome would mean to them as individuals, engaging their sense of responsibility and personal accountability.
Answers to key questions
I genuinely made it a thought point that people are extremely complex to manage and handle. Hence as individuals, we all have different needs, motives, aspirations, abilities and expectations. So, in continuously demonstrating that I deserve to lead the people I lead, I approach each individual as a unique person, understanding well too, that people’s emotions affect their approach to work and their performance at work.
The bottom line to effective leadership is achieving envisioned results. Hence, when I put my focus on a vision, I ensure that I remain tenacious, carrying everyone along to demonstrate that only through dedicated team work can any proven top-notch results can be achieved. I let my team members understand that greatness demands more than your strength, but your ability to work with others, constructively.
If you are not clear on the type to influence you have on your team members, why not ask intentionally, “how do I feel, when I’m engaging, giving tasks, asking for suggestions, asking for help to solve a problem, or holding a meeting or appraisal or supervision with members on my team? The easier the answers come, the easier it is perhaps for them too to answer similar questions about you and hence, the level of influence you have with them. What feelings go through your team members when you are around or when they remember you’re their leader? I answer these questions with ease and resounding positive energy, not because I don’t have my ups and downs in managing a team of people, whom originally would have loved to have one of them be their leader, before I came to change the picture, appearing after a sudden shake up due to low productivity and performance. Not because it was comfortable having team members, regularly try to point out where I had gone wrong, even when I was figuring out the most effective ways for everyone to maximise their potentials. Yes, it may feel tough initially, but to gain trust and build loyalty, you must be consistent in showing that you also care about their side of the ‘rut’, and not just the capitalist interest of the organisation or about keeping my job. This worked in my favour.
I can help you do same
If you take time out to really focus on the three key questions I asked above, and find your genuine answers, this can be the start or enhancement of a painless leadership reign for you. The chances are that you are still very defensive, like most leaders are and pointing the blame finger on the inadequacy of your team members. This will not help and you’ll probably stay in the havoc-loop for a longer time.
You may want to do a little reading around the subject of smart leadership, to strengthen these insights or checkout this resource on transformational leadership. This should lead you towards a genuinely diverse team, where everyone has differing strengths and are nurtured as such.
As you may know by now, I have a track record in managing teams and helping senior managers achieve better results from their team effectively, which is why I’m always passionate about talking leadership and I’m always happy to work with you to raise the game with your team members.
I must point out that understanding and embracing the need for optimal consciousness and personal development in my life and business was pivotal to achieving success in effectively managing teams and also building a formidable coaching and training business and this too, I can help you achieve. If you choose to explore this topic further, I will be happy to share greater insights with you. Why not let’s connect on LinkedIn, or join our community of thriving Stress-Free Business Leaders.