Leadership is a contact sport

And the more in contact you are with your stakeholders (bosses, peers and/or direct reports) the better it is for you as a leader. Not just to get things done or to accomplish those big-hairy-audacious-goals but for the most significant leadership behavioral change.

There’s a reason why companies embrace 360 reviews or are letting go of annual performance evaluations completely — people want to be part of the big picture. And as a leader, your # 1 responsibility is to involve them in initiatives or the evolution of the organization.

One of the most effective ways you can involve them is by asking them how you’re doing. Even better, don’t just ask them but probe and investigate. Do a 360 for yourself!

  • Ask them questions that reveal the way you lead or behave.
  • Ask them what changes would they like to see or appreciate that will help you to communicate and connect better.
  • Ask them if they were to coach you what advice would they give to you.

If these ideas sound far-fetched, you probably need to spend a significant time building a culture of trust and transparency. And perhaps that’s exactly why you need to know what they think.

Keep them closer. Most importantly, use their intel to leverage your performance.