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Leaders lead organizations to success

Ten questions you can ask to see if you’re a leader

Posted: July 25, 2008 11:41 p.m.
Updated: September 26, 2008 5:03 a.m.

True go-getters do not amass power by worrying about their titles or the size of their offices. Instead, they know how to lead and keep loyal employees.

A simple 10 questions that you can use to judge your skill for keeping good people follows. If you asked them, would your employees say yes?

n Do I understand what is expected?

Have I received proper training?

Are refresher and continuing education courses offered?

Do I have room to grow in my job?

Is there room to exercise judgment?

Have I been exposed to other functional areas?

Has my boss discussed possible routes of advancement?

Do I have good working conditions? Are they safe? Well-equipped?

Is the boss reasonable? Does he regularly ask for my feedback?

Does the boss ever tell me I've done a good job?

If you think there would be a "no" answer to two or three of those questions, then it's time for a pointed discussion with your staff.

Successful people become leaders, and they've become successful because they have formed the habit of doing what failures don't like to do. They typically have more self-discipline and have formed good habits like punctuality, organization and persistence.

The good news is that you can learn better work habits if you aren't as successful as you want to be. A habit is simply behavior done so often that it becomes automatic. Force yourself to keep good records, and you'll see the day when you keep them as inevitably as you bathe.

Drive yourself to be punctual, and soon you'll keep your appointments on time. Make yourself plan your days and weeks in advance, and planning will become second nature.

Deliberately training yourself into good habits requires stern self-discipline which every successful leader has acquired.

Good habits save effort, ease routine, increase efficiency and release power.

In a recent study by Development Dimensions International Inc., a Pennsylvania-based development firm, one-fifth of this country's large, established companies will be losing 40 percent or more of their top-level leaders in the next five years as senior executives retire.

Over the next 15 years, there will be a 15 percent decline in the number of people ages 35 to 44, and this means fewer people available for top management slots - "leaders."

If you want to be successful, then start doing what you don't necessarily enjoy to get the habits of a successful leader.

Maureen Stephenson is a local author and owner of REMS Publishing & Publicity, which is based in Santa Clarita. Her column represents her own views, and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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