Tara was a visionary... a wicked-smart leader, determinedly chasing after her vision – a vision she truly believed to be a God-given and God-honoring endeavor. Her organization had grown in its 15 years. Much was being accomplished on a global scale. She was determined, savvy, cared deeply for those her organization was designed to serve, and possessed high expectations for herself and others.
However, for the fresh eye entering her sphere, it was quickly obvious that staff frustration levels were at a high water mark, role apathy was rampant, constant change had depleted engagement, productivity was severely hindered, and attrition was unreasonably high. People in Tara's organization were voting with their feet!
This Problem Is Not Unique
As I engage teams, time and time again I remain amazed at like dynamics. Unfortunately, I have discovered in both for-profit and non-profit organizations that situations like Tara's are a not uncommon. To accomplish a vision in a healthy manner, an organization must have well-rounded leaders that are growing and cultures that are thriving.
So what about leaders like Tara? It's common language in circles of leadership to suggest leaders all possess "blind spots" (some more than others). The question is, should she be concerned? Should any of us be concerned about our blind spots or the health gaps in our organizational cultures? The answer is "NO"... if the material source of your organization’s effectiveness (people) is of no import and if your personal leadership growth matters little.
Otherwise, the answer is an emphatic, "Yes!"
Growth-oriented leaders take action. However, leaders often need help to discern, mature and flourish.
The following tools can help you identify some of your blind spots and your opportunities to flourish as a leader.
The ideal place to enact assessment is first within ourselves and then within teams. Test the stuff of your leadership by answering the following:
- lead with uncompromising integrity?
- demonstrate fearless authenticity?
- develop leadership "neuroplasticity"?
- define the win?
- let our people settle for less than greatness?
- know how to cultivate trust?
- know the engagement levels of my people?
- lead from the inside (of our organization) out?
- possess a craftsman's leadership mentality?
- cast vision in clear, compelling yet simple terms?
- start with people or results?
- frequently instill our raison d'être ("reason for being")?
Another tool that can assist a leader in identifying their blind spots is a Leader 360 assessment which anonymously gathers feedback on a leader from supervisors, peers, and subordinates, then becomes a platform for a leadership plan and professional/personal growth!
3. Fresh Eyes!
This is where I love to be a conduit. Through additional coaching, leaders can use guidance and recommendations to grow in his or her personal leadership proficiency as well as to promote a robust culture. We can help you develop comprehension around the health of your organization and develop a pivot plan.
Jack Kemp is former military, an attorney, business leader, non-profit executive, organizational coach, connector and collaborator. He presently serves as Managing Principal for PrimAscend, LLC, and previously as Divisional President of a large US non-profit. He has also served on church leadership, for-profit and non-profit advisory boards and committees. Jack’s degrees include a B.S. and J.D., and he has experience in organizational assessment, strategic planning, leadership coaching, risk mitigation and crisis management.