Recently I was doing some reading – and reflecting – on an article called “22 Qualities That Make a Great Leader,” that included wise words from a variety of successful leaders who strived to embody them. The qualities made for an interesting checklist – one for self-reflection and also for gathering feedback on how my team felt I was performing as a leader. I shared the list with some key members of the Private Ocean team and encouraged them to use this opportunity to share honest experiences and perspectives.
As a business owner, it may feel uncomfortable “putting yourself out there” for this type of feedback, but I believe that no matter what our role is within an organization, we should all wish to improve our skills and to grow as people and professionals. In my experience, this exercise showed that I respected people’s opinions and trusted that they were being thoughtful and honest in the spirit of helping me – and ultimately our clients.
I would encourage any owner, principal or manager to take time at the end or beginning of each year to assess themselves and ask for feedback – an informal “How Am I Doing?” that offers employees another opportunity to share their insight with you.
Start with the checklist below, listing the qualities in one column with a description and a rating. Offer people a comment section to elaborate on how they rated you. In my exercise, I provided a 1-3 scale: (1) Excel, (2) OK but could be better/more consistent, or (3) Needs immediate attention. Remind people that the goal is for them to provide their perspective of how they experience these qualities of you as a leader, and offer people time to speak to review their answers.
|Focus||Prioritizes major initiatives and doesn’t get bogged down in minor things|
|Confidence||Instills confidence by having clear vision, being strong coach and having “swagger and assertiveness”|
|Transparency||Open, sometimes flawed, but always passionate – authentic, no surprises|
|Integrity||Doing what’s right (not needing to be right)|
|Inspiration||Personally driven, and always willing to offer motivation to others|
|Passion||No matter how successful, never satisfied and constantly pushing to do something bigger, better, greater|
|Innovation||Self explanatory – Are you thinking ahead?|
|Patience||Understand when to abandon the cause and when to stay the course|
|Stoicism||When it hits the fan – don’t react emotionally and aggravate things further|
|Wonkiness||(used here to describe “knowing the business metrics, numbers, financials, etc.) –|
|Open-mindedness||Keep an open mind while being flexible and adjust if necessary|
|Decisiveness||Make decisions thoughtfully but decisively (not wishy-washy)|
|Personableness||Make genuine connections with people; look for ways to help them|
|Empowerment||Delegate responsibility and authority|
|Generosity||Kind, giving, thoughtful|
|Persistence||Willingness to go beyond where others will stop|
|Insightfulness||Ability to separate that which is really important from all the things that aren’t|
|Communication||Right amount and type of communication with team/company|
|Accountability||Hold myself accountable, taking accountability when things don’t go right; also taking steps to make it right|
|Restlessness||Willing to look outside company to plug gaps to move company forward|
Asking for feedback on these qualities and how a leader’s improvement in these areas can positively impact the firm helps to build a stronger cultural fabric, a more open-flow of communications, and reiterates that everyone’s opinion matters.
IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Private Ocean, LLC [“Private Ocean”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Private Ocean. Please remember that if you are a Private Ocean client, it remains your responsibility to advise Private Ocean, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/ evaluating/ revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Private Ocean is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Private Ocean’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon requestor at www.privateocean.com. Please note: Private Ocean does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Private Ocean’s web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Please also note: If you are a Private Ocean client, please advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.