Thank you for taking the “Are You an Iron-Sharpened Leader?” quiz!
You will receive an email with your answers. If you do not find the email please check your spam folder.
Here Are the Questions You Answered
- Do you regularly find ways to move out of your comfort zone personally and professionally?
- Have you specifically identified your personal core values?
- Do you factor your core values into the decisions you make?
- Do you make decisions when decisions must be made?
- Do you cultivate trust in the team or organization you lead?
- When you give your followers a task, do you include the “why” behind what you are asking them to do?
- Do you go out of your way to develop future leaders?
- Do you place the welfare of those you lead ahead of your own?
- Do you adhere to the standards you have set for your followers?
- Are you an active listener?
Here is the Leadership Growth Key
1. Yes. To develop resiliency, find ways to move out of your comfort zone personally and professionally. Move out of your comfort zone physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This takes self-discipline and mental toughness. Both attributes are similar and are action-oriented. It includes putting forth an effort before you accept a reward.
An example could be putting forth the effort of going for a run, walk, or bicycle ride before you have that bowl of ice cream or that beer. Another example could be reading that chapter or that professional article before switching on the television and relaxing. in a book.
To develop spiritual resilience, it may take making the time and putting forth the effort to regularly attend services at your place of worship, or taking the time to meditate, reflect, or write in your journal.
The bottom line when it comes to developing resiliency is to follow the rule, no reward without effort.
2. Yes. Everyone has values, but it is worth the effort to go through a reflective process to identify what your three to five personal core values really are. These should be values you have committed to stand by whether you are struggling or sailing through life with the wind at your back.
The benefit of identifying your personal core values is that they will help keep you grounded. They can act as a compass and will help keep you on the proper azimuth as you negotiate your path through life.
3. Yes. As you make personal decisions, it is important to factor your values into the decisions you make. If you do not know what your personal core values are, it is impossible to incorporate them into your decision-making process.
Most organizations have organizational values. You can see them hanging on walls as you walk through the hallways of a company’s headquarters and most executives probably have their organizational values hanging on their office walls or prominently displayed on their desks. If you visit the corporate website, I am sure you will find them there.
The question is “Do the leadership teams at these companies factor in their organizational values to the business decisions they make?” If not, they should. Similarly, individuals must factor their personal values into their decisions.
Values are inspiring when read, but most powerful when lived.
4. Yes. If the foundation of leadership is character and trust, then the essence of leadership is providing purpose and direction by making decisions. Followers expect leaders to make decisions when decisions must be made.
Leaders must demonstrate the personal courage to make decisions when decisions must be made.
Leaders are only human and do not necessarily have all the answers. That is why leaders have teams around them. It is ok for leaders to solicit recommendations and opinions from their team before deciding.
Once a leader decides, they must own it. If things go well the leader should share the credit. If things do not go so well based on the leader’s decision, the leader must shoulder the burden.
5. Yes. Trust can not be built quickly but has to be cultivated over time. Leaders do this by trusting others first, providing a shared vision, displaying integrity, leading by example, and showing followers that they sincerely care.
6. Yes. Purpose is powerful. When you explain to someone why they are being asked to accomplish a task, it creates a sense of empowerment and motivation. When a person understands why they are doing something, the chance of success increases. That is because, even if the specific task cannot be completed, finding another way to accomplish the “why” is possible and that ultimately leads to mission accomplishment.
7. Yes. One of the key roles of any leader is to develop future leaders. Iron-Sharpened Leaders realize that it is not about developing followers, but rather it is about developing leaders. In order to be good stewards of the organizations we lead, it is essential we develop future leaders that will be in a position to lead the organization after we are gone.
8. Yes. In the Army, leaders are taught to ensure our Soldiers eat chow before the leader does. To a degree this is symbolic, but it is also a way to ensure we leaders do not take before our followers receive what they deserve.
Placing the welfare of our followers before our own welfare is an easy thing to say, but, it is a difficult thing to do. It means going out of our way to ensure our people have everything they need to do their job effectively and efficiently. It means staying late to help a team member out when they are struggling. It means taking the time to lend an ear to a follower when they are facing a challenge and need someone to talk to. It also means giving something up for our followers to have what they need.
Leading is tough. It is not for the weak or faint-hearted. That is why not everyone wants to be a leader or should be a leader.
9. Yes. Leaders must enforce standards. They must also adhere to the standards they enforce. This is part of what “leading by example” looks like.
When leaders follow the same standards as everyone else it bolsters morale and cultivates trust in an organization.
10. Yes. Leaders spend about 90% of their time communicating. Listening is a vital element of communication. Sometimes it is more important for a leader to receive information from a follower than to transmit information.
Active listening involves things such as paraphrasing what you have heard your teammate say to make sure you heard the message correctly. It also involves maintaining eye contact. If listening to your teammate in a setting with many distractions it is important to have the discipline to focus on the person talking to you rather than have your eyes wander throughout the room.
If you are in your office, put your phone away and turn away from your computer screen. Give the person talking to you your undivided attention.
Do not forget to have a notepad and pen available so you can take notes. If you make a promise on following up with someone, make a note so you can do that at your earliest opportunity.
When you do these things it is a great way to demonstrate sincerity and integrity and in turn, you cultivate trust.
Continue your Iron-Sharpened Leader journey.
John Gronski has two books, filled with great life and leadership lessons, available for purchase. Read more about them below, or visit the Leader Grove Store
Iron-Sharpened Leadership is a leadership book the reader will find valuable and inspiring.
This leadership book is based on operational experience and is peppered with inspirational stories along with actions one can take to become a more effective leader. Gronski takes a values-based approach to leadership effectiveness and the book is oriented along the lines of his leadership philosophy which includes character, competence, and resilience.
The Ride of Our Lives
The Ride of Our Lives is a true story of John Gronski’s bicycle ride across the United States with his wife, Berti, and fifteen-month-old son, Stephen.
In the 3-month adventure the Gronski family experience trials, triumphs, and learning lessons.
They discovered incredible people from Tacoma Washington to Scranton Pennsylvania.
They faced wind, rain, traffic, and an angry bull.
They never gave up. The book is a powerful reminder that neither should you.