As a leader you spend a lot of time thinking about others and their professional development. But do you spend enough time thinking about yours? More specifically, do you spend enough time evaluating your current role and its contributions to your future self?
Last week I woke up and I wasn’t particularly interested in Chip and Grey. It was the first time in 3.5 months that I wasn’t interested in feeding the two squirrels, but it wasn’t the first or last time I would question if my current role was fulfilling my professional needs.
It’s easy to forget about your own goals when you’re managing a team with many goals of their own; goals that you will help them achieve. But if/when you wake up one morning and you’re not particularly interested in seeing said team members or you can’t remember the last time you discussed your career goals with someone, I encourage you to set some time aside for some personal and professional interrogation.
Here are 5 questions every leader should ask themselves on a regular basis:
- What were my expectations when I took on this role? (Were they met or can they be met?)
- Am I going to learn any knew skills in the next 12 months?
- How do I feel about the field/industry? (Am I passionate about it?)
- Does the culture of the organization align with my values?
- Is there room to move up or laterally within the organization?
Why should you ask these questions? Because part of being a great leader is being able to recognize when a role is no longer contributing to your own professional and personal goals. In a previous blog post I discussed how identifying a company’s limitations can change your approach to your team’s training and development, and it’s important to not forget about your own development in the process. The only thing harder than leading is leading without experience.
Take some time to interrogate your current role and ask yourself 5 potentially revealing questions. You may come to the conclusion that you’re happy where you are, or, you may realize that it’s time to take a different route. But one of the most important things you can do as a leader is keep a map in the glove compartment and keep an eye on your personal road. A leader without a map will eventually lead others in the wrong direction.