New Year Reflections

As 2012 draws to a close, I thought I would share some areas I consider important for reflection. (Previous blog postings contain more on each area.)

Consider starting the year with your thoughts on what you wish your legacy as a leader to be.

  • Am I closer to being a “reflective” or “reflexive” leader? 
    • How often do I slow down to reflect?
    • Where is my balance between asking questions versus advocating my point of view?
    • Am I more often “in judgment” or “using judgment”?
  • Am I able to lead with heart and backbone? Able to empathize, support, and champion others while driving the mission?
    • Am I more likely to be described as strong or hard?
    • Do my followers want to invest fully in my vision – or are they fearful of the consequences of not following my directions?
  • Am I listening and present? 
    • Am I anxious to complete my colleagues’ thoughts and statements for them?
    • Can I listen for emotions and feelings? (Empathetic listening)
    • Do I consider the context or situations that surround them as they speak? (Contextual listening)
  • How authentic and believable am I as a leader?
    • Do my values and deeply held views show up in my leadership style?
    • Would I trust and believe in me if I was led by me?
    • How do I manage the loneliness that is part of authentic leadership? Is it more important to me to be liked, or to serve the highest agenda of the organization?
  • How do I lead under stress?
    • Do I filter stress, and am I able to retain my equanimity and composure?
    • Or, am I more likely to overuse my strengths and come across as disorganized, hurried, bullying, blaming…?
  • Do I carry a fixed or a growth mindset? 
    • Am I willing to risk lower performance in a new area? Or do I prefer to rest on the recognition and applause from past accomplishments?
    • Do I help create an environment for others to reach for higher ground?  Or are my actions leading others to be risk averse and settle for the fixed mindset?
    • What is the continuous improvement process for my leadership?  Do I dwell on the past, or do I learn and adjust my future actions?

What questions would you add to this list for others to consider?


About Kaveh Naficy
Kaveh is the leader of Heidrick and Struggles executive coaching practice in North America. Kaveh focuses on working with leaders placed to make transformational and creative changes in their organizations. Kaveh has a proven record of success in harnessing the strengths of these leaders to achieve accelerated business solutions. He is able to create significant insights through reflective thinking, presence, and disciplined follow-through. Executives who have worked with Kaveh say that his strengths are his deep insights into the realities of the current and future business world, accelerated scanning of the environment and competition; creative out of the box thinking, and leveraging the collective intelligence of their teams and creating the organizational culture to support and foster the appropriate organizational design and strategies. They also point their deep trust and personal connectivity with Kaveh, his coaching approach, and style.

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