The lessons we learn from great bosses, and great teachers, tend to stay with us for years. In part two of a series of leadership lessons I took from my experience working with former US Bank CEO Richard Davis, I explore five more questions you can use to test your own leadership acumen. See the original six questions here.
See how you rate against the following five categories:
Question 7: Are you respectful of others? Do you demonstrate respect to and for others? (Yes or No).
Respect begins with listening to others to understand. In fact, One of Stephen Covey’s famous “7 Habits” is “Seek first to understand.”
To ask questions whether you agree or don't agree with others, and to then sit back and listen to understand their rationale or emotions. Sometimes we are quick to tell others what we think versus the other way around. You gain respect when people feel you listen and understand how they feel regardless of whether you agree with them.
Respect ends with how you receive and react to the feedback of others. Do you stay calm or in control of your feelings versus getting angry? It should always be the former as part of gaining and earning respect, never the latter.
Question 8: Are you selfless? Are you what many call a “servant” leader? (Yes or No).
Being selfless is being a servant leader, which means acting as if you are there to serve and help others, regardless of their position, status, race, or means. Great leaders recognize their role is to make the path easier for others—to remove barriers and obstacles to success. Part of that is not just asking others what they can do to help but also asking others what you can do to be helpful. And to do it with humility and to be honored to have done so (serve others).
Question 9: Do you show your “heart” to others? How? (Yes or No).
Leading is about using both your brain (logic) and your heart (feelings). For some leaders, using our brains or logic when it comes to leading and managing is more natural or comfortable. However, as human beings, we starve for more heart or feelings from our leaders. What intrinsically is the leader feeling and why? And just as important, it’s also about showing vulnerability to others in a healthy way. For instance, how you show others that you don’t have all the answers and that you ask for help, too. It’s about using your heart to make the right call or exception versus the rule.
Question 10: Do you bleed or demonstrate integrity? (Yes or No).
Integrity is about doing the right thing, consistently. And not wavering in the moment or act. Integrity is staying true to your individual and company values every day.
Question 11: Are you passionate about what you and your company do? Do you show it? (Yes or No).
My son recently shared this definition of passion with me:
"Passion is what makes life interesting, what ignites our soul, fuels our love, carries our friendships, stimulates our intellect, and pushes our limits.”
It’s a quote from Pat Tillman, former NFL great and U.S. Army Ranger who lived his life with passion in everything he pursued and did. His passion fueled him and those around him to do more, to be better, and to serve a higher purpose.
As leaders, we better be passionate about our values and mission if we want to get the best out of ourselves and others. Passion provides energy in many ways—mentally, emotionally, and physically. And it’s important to openly live your passion when you’re around your employees, peers, and customers. Passion is incredibly infectious!