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  • Writer's picturePhil Cole

When are you a Leader?

We often mistake the individual, technical tasks of managerial positions for leadership. As a result, we think we are leading when we are in fact performing financial management, scheduling, planning, or resource and product management. We neglect our leadership duties. This exercise is designed to reveal when and how much we act upon the functions of leadership.

Consider your daily or weekly work. Answer the following questions with a discerning eye.

  • What activities do you do alone, rather than performing to or upon other members of the group?

  • How often do you talk about the goals of the work using business metrics, and how often do you talk about them in terms of the value and meaning of members’ contributions?

  • How often do you make plans that are lists of next steps, and how often do you talk about the connections between work in a way that illustrates how they get to the final product?

  • How often do you tell members how to perform their job, or even do the job for them? How often do you talk to members about the effect of their work on others?

  • How often do you examine your own behavior to see what reactions it causes in others, and how often do you plan — and actually perform — the replacement of one behavior with another?

  • What do these answers reveal about your time acting upon the functions of leadership as a percentage of your work?

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