A look in the mirror

I often facilitate discussions on leadership traits in my programs. During these discussions we talk about the qualities of the best and worst leaders we've ever worked with and for.

It's interesting that the classes almost always talk about the other person and not themselves when they're talking about the undesirable qualities and talk about themselves when they are identifying the best qualities.

Why do we do this? One explanation is we are far more comfortable to talk about our positive attributes. Another might be we are blind to our shortcomings or in denial that we actually display the qualities that are undesirable.

But... here's a hint... we DO have some of those qualities and the best way to become a better leader is to take the list of undesirable qualities and conduct a self-assessment.

Pay attention to how participants say it makes them feel when a bad boss behaves in undesirable ways. If you have conducted your honest self-assessment, a discussion like this can be very helpful as others share traits about "other" leaders, you can take their observations and make your to-do list of things to work on.

One of the best qualities of leadership is being able to look in the mirror and see the change we need to implement.

Fire Chief (ret.) Richard B. Gasaway, PhD, EFO, CFO, MICP