If leadership is a journey, have you considered where you want to end up and how you’ll know you’re there?

Leadership is all about growth. What are you doing to grow?

Sometimes we underestimate the effect we have on others, both positive and negative. When’s the last time you asked how you’re doing from your direct reports?

Want feedback on your leadership? Ask your direct reports three things: what do you want more of? Less of? What’s just right?

Expecting your direct reports to change and grow while you say, “This is who I am, so deal with it,” is called hypocrisy. Time to model what you want to see in others.

The antidote for indecision is curiosity. When your team is stuck, ask great questions instead of providing a great answer.

Your boat only floats as high as the tide and your team is the tide. Help grow them, and hire people smarter than you.

It’s not how good you are anymore that matters, it’s how good you can help your direct reports become.

If you don’t have a few solid contenders for your role, then you are your own succession plan.

It’s not the failure of the decision you want to worry about, but instead the decision process used to get you there.

We teach people how to treat us, so if you don’t like what you’re receiving stop accepting it and set new boundaries.

The behaviours we allow that are not ok in your culture eventually become part of your culture. What are you letting slide?

How you want to be remembered as a leader is how you need to be right now. Why wait?

The 10 people you spend most of your time with reflect how you’ll turn out in five years. Are you ok with their influence?

No one looks down the organization for leadership cues. Want to change behaviors in your culture? Enroll the senior team first.

What inspires you about your mentors? What behaviours do you need to model to follow their lead and inspire others?

Not sure how to coach your direct reports? Start by telling them what they do right, what you want more of and what you want less of.

Bouncing from meeting to meeting? Cut meetings to 45 minutes instead of 60 and buy yourself some moments to breathe and think in between.

Not feeling creative? Schedule white space in your calendar: time to think with no outcome in mind and no task to complete.

Do you want to be the smartest person in the room or have your team be the smartest people in the room? Start asking more questions.

The number of succession candidates you have for your role says more about you than it does about them.

Delegation to direct reports with no experience in the task is actually abdication.

If you can’t clearly articulate your organization’s strategy, no one else can either. It’s time to simplify.

If you want alignment to strategy, start engaging people in dialogue around it.

Not sure if your strategy is right? Ask these questions: Does it inspire your team and customers? Does it worry your competition?

Feel like you don’t have enough time? Write a “stop doing” list and either delegate or delete.

Do you define the word busy as important? If so, now you know why you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Candour is saying what you’ve been afraid to say. The courage comes after you take the risk in doing so, not before.

Want more candour from your team? Try being more candid with them.

Drive conflict in your team around ideas, not around people. No ideological conflict means no synergy.

Want people to take ownership? Teach them empowerment.

Common sense is basically wisdom—our IQ and EQ matched with our experience. If you don’t see it in your direct reports, maybe they don’t have the experience.

Authenticity means you want me to understand the real you. If you’re too proud to let that happen, you’re choosing ego over connection.

Just because you’re good at it doesn’t mean you should do it. Who could take this task on instead?

If your direct reports are all burnt out, that says more about you than it does about them.

To the person you’re meeting, being constantly late is not a sign of importance. It’s a sign of poor planning and a lack of consideration.

If someone did a documentary on your leadership style, would you want your friends and family at the premiere?

Do you know what’s better than policing your organization? Catching people doing the right thing and calling it out.

What inspires you about being led, and are you modeling those attributes?

Mike Desjardins is a transformation specialist at Virtus, a strategic planning and leadership development consultancy based in Vancouver for entrepreneurial business as well as public companies.

More columns by Mike Desjardins

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