“Elaine, kudos for a job…done.” Seinfeld television show fans know that this is what the character Elaine heard from her boss when he returned from sabbatical to find his company in disarray after leaving her in charge. He said this right before he demoted her. Should she have seen the signs? Of course, this was a sitcom where the setup to this punchline was obvious – and funny.
Are the signs in real life as obvious as the signs in a sitcom? They are if you know how to read them. Here are three areas where leaders need to be successful and the signs that you should look for along the way.
Is your growth working? The world is constantly changing. Customer needs and methods to deliver these needs evolve at a rapid pace. How can you and your team be part of a changing organization in a changing world if you are not changing with it? If the only activities you participate in are those that you already know how to do well, then you are not growing.
The signs that you should look for to know if your growth is working are 1) The openness to consider new ideas before the final idea is settled on 2) The opportunity to pilot new processes before the final process is put into place and 3) The willingness to claim success when you learn what not to do because you tried something new.
“If you aren’t making any mistakes, it’s a sure sign you are playing it too safe.” – John Maxwell
Is your leadership working? We know that leaders deliver results through the people they lead. The success of the team depends on the success of everyone you lead. Personal and business success are both important and must be achieved together.
The signs that you should look for to know if your leadership is working are 1) The results that your team delivers on a consistent basis 2) The ability of each member of your team to do their best and 3) The desire for people to want to be on your team.
“Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily even if you had no title or position.” – Brian Tracy
Is your teaching working? The best leaders have teams that can execute on the vision without anyone telling them how to do it. The most important measure of success of leadership is the success of your team when you are not involved.
The signs that you should look for to know if your teaching is working are 1) The plans that are designed that are not just a repeat of your ideas 2) How often you are genuinely impressed by the ability of your team to accomplish things you couldn’t do 3) The pride you feel when your team goes further than you have
“The greatest sign of success for a teacher…is to be able to say, the children are now working as if I did not exist.” – Maria Montessori