“Focus your energies on progression.”

In my leadership journey and as part of research as an author and lecturer, one cardinal finding stands out. Leadership is about understanding your space to include yourself, your followers and the ever-changing situations. When you understand this space, you are always eager to fix challenges with maturity and not just expertise. Sometimes pause, go a little bit under and dig within yourself centering on performance. Self-assessment first. It takes an authentic leader to put value on the power of stocktaking. It’s a beautiful experience to critique yourself as a leader. Constructive self-criticism helps in evaluating and reevaluating self-performance. When leaders assess and reassess their spaces objectively, they find solutions to challenges and the outcome is always bent on improving systems, processes and people. Do not be too hard on yourself during stocktaking.

As part of leadership development, stocktaking repositions a leader’s journey. Stocktaking is a process and not an event. Leaders who gain mastery in stocktaking do it frequently on yearly, quarterly, weekly, daily and even on hourly basis. In leadership development, the process and art of stocktaking is not too different from the concept of leader reflection. Within the spiral of experience model, reflection could be considered as taking stock. You can choose to use the AOR -Action-Observation-Reflection- model, the GAPS- Goals-Abilities-Perception-Standards- Analysis, the Skills Gap Analysis -SKA- or any basic appraisal methodology to complete a good stocktaking exercise provided actions are measured with a CAP -Corrective Action Plan- in place. In our various endeavors, we do have goals. Some write them in their hearts. Others write them in their minds. Some write them in their journals and some people write them on walls. Whichever approach you adopt to track your deliverables, stocktaking is about measuring performance.

As Peter Drucker rightly hinted, what gets measured gets done! Be the captain of your ship. You do not abandon your own performance. Learn the lessons of self-assessment. Do not be quick to chase after people’s performance when you fail to assess yours. In stocktaking, just avoid conflicting noises. Focus your energies on progression. Acknowledge the sights and sounds within the period and pay attention to every movement within your space. If you cannot be honest to everyone, stocktaking gives you the opportunity to be at least honest with yourself. Sinek (2014) hinted in Leaders eat last that, building trust within teams is all about telling the truth. Interestingly, telling the truth starts with being truthful to yourself. If you have to eat dirt and prepare yourself a better meal in future, do so. Look into the mirror and tell it in your face. Embrace stocktaking as a process to improve performance.

As the year comes to an end, I am urging you to compare your actual performance against your targets. Take stock! Interestingly, the outcome (variance) will determine your actions and guide your plans in the ensuing year. A big thanks to all of us on our readership on leadership with EKI- Eagle Knowledge Institute- for the consistent weekly nuggets – 30 months running-.

EKI will be on break until mid-January 2021. Keep fingers crossed and watch this space for the launch of my next leadership book- ARE YOU A GOOD LEADER?- 30 Most Powerful Leadership Tips, Tools & Techniques- which will hit your shelves Q1 2021.

I wish you all the very best of the yuletide season. Best of Christmas and a super 2021.

This is Leadership!

Author: Richard Kwarteng Ahenkorah

Principal Trainer, Eagle Knowledge Institute || Author: Your Journey To The Top

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