Shifting from an Assigned Leader to an Effective One - Part I: Self-Assessment

It's my favorite day of the week - Workout Wednesday!  This five-part weekly series will discuss the steps for moving from the mindset of an “assigned leader” to the confidence of an effective one.

The key to making any shift in thought or action is to be completely aware and honest about our starting point. Accurate self-assessment can provide us with valuable insight and understanding regarding our leadership strengths and our areas of opportunity.

Self-assessment is not the same as self-criticism. Self-assessment is simply the understanding of “what is” without judgement or opinion. It allows us to gain clarity about our starting point and supports as we journey from one place to another or in this case one mindset to another.

Self-assessment opens the mind and shifting it into a “willingness mode.” It allows us to be humble thereby opening our minds to new ideas, concepts and suggestions.

Self-criticism on the other hand causes defensiveness and shuts us down to outside influences. Self-criticism is a result of fear and immediately sends the brain into fight or flight mode. Self-criticism causes us to move from being humble and teachable to closed and certain.

Highly effective leaders continuously participate in the art of self-assessment. This practice drives humility which is one of the primary traits of effective leaders. As a result of understanding our strengths and challenges, effective leaders are open to opportunities that are not available when we are defensive and closed.

How do we shift from self-criticism to self-assessment? The key is to stay aware and awake about the messages we are giving ourselves throughout the day. This might sound like an exhausting exercise, but I assure you the rewards are immeasurable.

Throughout this next week lets work on shifting from self-criticism to self-assessment.  Take time throughout your workday to notice what you are saying to yourself and how you are delivering that message.

Notice if your mind stays focused on “the other” or if you are able to direct your thoughts within and exercise true self-assessment.

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