Three Signs That Show You Are Growing As A Leader

Winning Team From A Recent Leadership Exercise

Winning Team From A Recent Leadership Exercise

One of the activities I use in leadership training is an exercise where individuals have to build a structure using simple materials to support a rolling ball. While the activity is in process, I love watching individuals exhibit many of those early signs of leadership, and I think they are the same ones you need to stop and celebrate when you recognize them in yourself or others on your team.

You notice when others aren’t delivering their best work.
As teams agree on an idea, the tendency is for the individual with the strongest technical skills to become the leader. They hurriedly start creating the structure. When they start looking around to see how others can get involved by ripping tape or cutting paper, the team makes quicker progress.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you recognize where a stronger performance by another team member would accelerate your team’s success?
  • Are you taking steps to help them develop the skills needed?

You talk more about outcomes and less about tasks.
For some groups the tendency is to just start building something without giving much thought to how the finished structure might actually perform. When I hear someone in the group say, “Let’s step back and think about how doing that will affect everything else,” I know that individual is looking at the bigger picture.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you more focused on checking items off a list, or how those items are part of accomplishing a larger purpose?
  • Do you focus more on the specific tasks your team members need to take, or speak more about goals and outcomes, enabling them to determine the best way to use their time and energy?

Your fear becomes a fuel for taking positive action.
Almost all teams in the exercise experience some sort of adversity. Some teams just keep going with a bad idea hoping more tape will fix the problem. You will even hear them say, “We just need to get this done.” The most successful groups, however, stop and discuss potential solutions, using the wisdom of the group (and looking at what other teams are doing).

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How do you handle adversity as a team? Hope it will go away if you just work harder?
  • Do you seek advice or guidance from others when you’re “stuck” or do you keep trying to figure it out on your own?

If you like your answers to the questions here, take a moment to celebrate your growth as a leader.