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7 Critical Questions for Leaders

posted Dec 14, 2009, 11:09 AM by David Wright   [ updated Dec 14, 2009, 11:15 AM ]

Some time ago I read an article in Occupational Health & Safety magazine written by Robert Pater regarding 7 Critical Leadership Questions:

  1. Do I strengthen and recharge myself first?
  2. Am I trustworthy?
  3. Where are my blind spots?
  4. Do I think strategically and critically?
  5. Am I courageous and dedicated to change?
  6. Do I make positive things happen?
  7. Do I have high expectations?

Take some time to read the article above first then read my comments below...

  1. Do I strengthen and recharge myself first?
    • The older I get the more important this one is to me...I find that I need to take time each day to get away from work or thinking about work.  This is very difficult to do each day but I find is critically important to help keep me focused.
  2. Am I trustworthy?
    • This is more than just being honest - Are you meeting your deadlines?  When someone asks your for something, did you provide it to them EVERY time?  Remember, an impression is something that is made over time, not by one time.  Be consistent every time.
  3. Where are my blind spots?
    • Make sure that get input from people around you.  I find it helpful to get input from your boss, spouse, kids, people at the same level at work, and the people that report to you!  Doing so will build a reputation as someone who is willing going the extra mile.
  4. Do I think strategically and critically?
    • A good leader is one that is always thinking about how you can make the company better - not just from a safety standpoint...Safety should never be your only focus as a Safety Leader.  You are part of a team and you need to make sure that you are trying to help in every department that you can.
  5. Am I courageous and dedicated to change?
    • If you are the type of leader that does not like change than you are NOT an effective leader.  One thing that is consistent will all great leaders are they are Champions of Change.  You cannot be a leader if your not leading the way to change.  One great statement that I have always based my life in is: Leaders Lead (to change) and Managers Manage (Manage problems)
  6. Do I make positive things happen?
    • Being a good leader means that you change the way you think and work.  A lot of leaders get caught up in constantly putting out fires.  This type of behavior is anything but successful.  You need to move to a more proactive role.  Think of it like safety - Safety is a very proactive think.  Think BEFORE you act, the best way to keep from being hurt is to prevent it.  Accident Prevention, Injury Prevention, New Employee Safety Orientation, etc are all examples of proactive thinking.
  7. Do I have high expectations?
    • As a leader you should have the highest expectations and NEVER, EVER accept anything but the best results.  You should always be looking for area in which you can improve. 
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