One of my clients is an avid practitioner of self-development. The signals are easy:

  • He devotes weekends to attend seminars and workshops about business.
  • He is on the phone with other industry leaders each day probing their actions.
  • He is up before the sun reading anything and everything about business since he forwards me an article a week to comment on.

Like many entrepreneurs he is aggressively self-critical. I believe he views his lack of formal business education as a void in his skill set. Ron and I frequently find this the circumstance. In reality our client base is stocked with great business people who have learned the game the hard way and in reality are proficient practitioners of management and leadership disciplines. It sometime seems that they are seeking a magic formula and that they occasionally believe everyone else is better.

This morning my client was reading about leadership and wrote me to comment on his leadership skills and to recommend actions he should take. Everyone knows a good consultant answers a question with a question so my response was that he self-evaluate as a start point. After four decades of leadership training in; the military, higher education, and corporate I developed 6 questions for him to answer for himself.

Do you consistently and regularly communicate a clear and achievable mission?

Do you demonstrate control yet passion?

Do you appear involved, aware of what subordinates are experiencing and then articulate: empathy, praise, support?

Do you praise/reward the right behaviors as well as results?

Do you act quickly to address/resolve problems or to change people when they do not: support the team, get results or hinder progress?

Do you let people RUN without undo stifling internal roadblocks?

My concluding comment was, above all, the most important behavior and word above is “CONSISTENT” and that one trait can override many sins.

How would you answer these questions about yourself?