Strengths and gaps

Management teams working together on developing their leadership effectiveness is especially powerful. Here’s a team checklist to assess your strengths and gaps:

  1. What percent of your team meetings are spent in Leading (optimistic, courageous, visionary, innovative, possibilities), Following (waiting, wondering, cautious, passive, wavering), or Wallowing (complaining, blaming, pessimistic, cynical, helpless) modes? What percentage of time would you like to spend in each area?
  2. What percent of your team time is spent on Technical (dealing with technical issues, product/service reviews, applying expertise), Management (operational reviews, information updates, analysis and planning), and Leadership (people discussions/decisions, vision/values/culture, “soft skills” development)? What percentage of time would you like to spend in each area?
  3. Does your team have a clear and compelling picture of your preferred future that’s emotionally engaging? Do you have 3 – 5 core values that actively frame your behaviors with each other and the rest of your organization? Is there a deep sense of purpose energizing you into a highly bonded team?
  4. Does your team actively set strategies and develop leadership skills to influence upward and outward?
  5. Are there touchy issues that aren’t openly discussed and debated in team forums but team members talk about them to each other outside the meeting?
  6. Does your team regularly seek feedback/perceptions and probe to understand what’s engaging and disengaging everyone else throughout your organization? Is there a tendency to minimize negative feedback/survey data (“that’s not reality, that’s just their perception)?
  7. Does your team clearly model and actively build purpose, pride, and team spirit throughout your organization?
  8. Is coaching and growing people throughout your organization a defining role and central focus of your team?
  9. Does your team have a good balance of using one-way information tools like e-mail, reports, and presentations with two-way conversations, open meetings, and bottom up discussions?
  10. Does your team use healthy amounts of celebration, recognition, and appreciation to maintain a positive, can-do spirit, and highly energize your organization?

How are you doing? Which are your team’s greatest strengths? How could you use those strengths to move your leadership from ordinary to extraordinary? Do you have any fatal flaws that need to be addressed? Use this checklist with your team to stimulate discussion and set development plans. You could have each person anonymously rate each question on a scale of 1 – 6 and hand or send them in to a neutral facilitator for tallying.

For over 30 years, Jim Clemmer’s practical leadership approaches have been inspiring action and achieving results. He has delivered thousands of keynote presentations, workshops, and management team retreats to hundreds of organizations around the globe moving his audiences from inspiration to application. He’s listed in the World’s Top 30 Most Influential Leadership Gurus based on research with 22,000 global business people, consultants, academics and MBAs. His website is


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