Hello Subscriber ,
Happy New Year! I hope you have completed your plan for 2013. I trust that you know what a successful 2013 looks like and you are eager to accomplish your plan. Please share your plan with your coach. You coach wants to help you be successful.
This month we want to share some thoughts on Leadership….
A Leadership Checklist: 7 Questions to Ask
Even outstanding leaders struggle through career stretches
during which they feel off track. It can be hard to spot the
specific problem when you’re in the middle of it. But successful
leaders develop techniques for recognizing their vulnerabilities
and making rapid adjustments. Seven Leadership Checkpoints
Leaders should regularly ask themselves questions that target
seven areas, according to Robert S. Kaplan, in a recent article
of Harvard Business Review:
Coming up with good answers is far less important
than taking the time to ask yourself hard questions and honestly
examine your strengths and weaknesses.
- Vision and Priorities
- Managing Time
- Succession Planning
- Evaluation and Alignment
- Leading Under Pressure
- Staying True to Yourself
Vision and Priorities
Many business leaders fail to ask themselves two important
It is difficult to lead people if they lack a firm
grasp of where they’re heading and what’s expected of them.
Unfortunately, many leaders neglect to explain their vision
in an easily understood manner.
- How frequently do I communicate a vision and the
priorities for my business?
- Would my employees, if asked, be able to articulate
the vision and priorities?
Employees want to know where a business is heading and the
areas on which they need to focus. Many managers either unintentionally
under-communicate or fail to articulate specific priorities
that would give meaning to their vision.
- Do I give people timely and direct feedback to act
- Do I have five or six junior subordinates who will
tell me things I may not want to hearbut need to hear?
If you aren’t identifying potential successors and developing
their leadership abilities, then you are contributing to business
and personal stagnation.
When challenging and testing people, you must frequently delegate
more to them. This frees you to focus on critical strategic
matters facing the business. Failure to actively plan for succession
means you do not delegate sufficiently and become a decision-making
Evaluation and Alignment
- Have I, at least in my own mind, picked one or more
- Am I coaching them and giving them challenging assignments?
- Am I delegating sufficiently?
- Have I become a decision-making bottleneck?
Your business is constantly changing. So are your customers.
Depending on your industry, this may be rapid—or extremely rapid.
If you don’t change along with the business environment, you
may become seriously out of alignment. What got you here today
won’t necessarily get you there tomorrow.
Have you checked to see if the design of your organization still
aligns with key success factors for your business? Effective
executives regularly seek advice and fresh perspectives from
people who are less emotionally invested in their business.
Leading Under Pressure
- Does the design of my company still
align with key success factors?
- If I had to design my business from
scratch, how would I create it? How would it differ from
the current design?
- Should I create a task force to answer these questions
and make recommendations?
A leader’s actions during stressful times have a profound impact
on the firm’s culture and employees’ behaviors. Successful leaders
must be aware of their personal stress triggers and reactions.
Pressure is a normal part of doing business, but it affects
people differently. What may evoke anxiety for one individual
may not bother someone else. As a leader, you are watched closely.
Emotions are contagious—even more so when they come from the
Staying True to Yourself
- Which events create pressure for me?
- How do I behave under pressure?
- What signals do I send to subordinates?
- Are these signals helpful, or do they undermine the
success of my business?
Successful executives develop leadership styles that fit their
business needs, as well as their personal beliefs and personality.
While many leaders ask themselves about the former, few analyze
Companies require leaders who can express strongly held views,
rather than mimic the party line. Don’t tiptoe around significant
issues or foster an atmosphere that encourages employees to
- Is my leadership style comfortable? Does
it reflect who I truly am?
- Do I assert myself sufficiently, or have
I become tentative?
- Am I too politically correct?
- Does anxiety about my next promotion
or bonus cause me to hesitate when I want to express my views?
If you know someone who would like
to start 2013 with a coach, I would love to help them find the
right coach. Give me a call at 312-842-4577
or drop me a note at
this to one of your friends, so they can become a subscriber
by going to my web site
coachpinney.com and signing up.
For the last twenty-two
years Jerry Pinney has been president of his own consulting firm.
Currently he focuses his efforts on providing executive and personal
coaching to persons who are interested in improving their quality
of life and consulting to small and mid-sized companies and nonprofits.
He is a facilitator for peer advisory groups with The Alternative
Board and is a Certified One Page Planning Consultant. Jerry has
over three decades of experience in the food industry, and possesses
a unique perspective of customer service, marketing and strategic
planning. In addition to overall general management qualifications,
Jerry has proven expertise in operational planning and business
development. His food industry career started at Jewel Food Stores
followed by a long career with IGA, with their retailers, wholesalers
and ten years as Vice President of Marketing. In addition Jerry
has served as Vice President of Membership for the National Grocers
Association, Sr. Vice President of Procurement for Shurfine International
and Executive Manager of The Zenon Hansen Foundation.
Jerry has also served on a number of nonprofit
boards including: President of the Volunteer Center of Northwest
Suburban Chicago. He is currently a Project Manager for the Executive
Service Corps of Chicago. Jerrys ESC assignments have included
coaching for several Executive Directors, and consulting on various
Board Development projects and on a number of strategic planning
Pinney & Associates
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