The more I practice leadership, think about leadership, read about leadership, and hear people talk about leaders they admire, the clearer it becomes. To help facilitate your ability to lead and coach, it is important for you to
- Know yourself;
- Know the learning, behavioral, and motivational styles, among others, of those you lead;
- Use methods that are developmentally appropriate for your students, players, and employees to facilitate and maximize learning;
- Employ methods to articulate where it is you want your team, class, or organization to go, and develop a plan to get there;
- Develop a culture that continuously assesses and reflects, individually and collectively, on what works, what did not work, and what needs to be improved;
- Learn methods that facilitate communication and a collaborative culture where questions are expected.
To help you as a leader bring these components together. I have developed what I currently call the Collaborative Leadership Action Model. It is an action model because the five basic questions upon which this model is based requires you to take action. At face value, the five questions appear to be relatively simple. In reality, they are potentially very challenging questions for you to ask yourself (see diagram)
- Who am I as a leader?
- Whom am I leading?
- Where do I want to lead them?
- How do I get them there?
- How do we know when we get there?
The diagram highlights the iterative and integrative nature of the this inquiry- and learning-based approach to coaching and leading. Using these questions will lead to better communication and collaboration that will lead to a more productive environment with in which your team can prosper. Over the next few posts, I will provide more details related to the importance of these questions. For more detail on the Collaborative Leadership Action Model, read my book Focus on Them: Leading the mindset revolution for coaches, educators, and business leaders.