Management

Leadership Exercise: How Do You Lead?

I mean, really, what drives leadership for you? Why do you want to run that meeting or project or manage that team? How do you do it? With a strong hand? With empathy? Honesty? Firm direction? Many questions?

You don’t have to have answers for this, but there are very many reasons why sometimes it’s worth reminding yourself of how you want to lead, even if you’re not fulfilling that right now.

There’s lots of ways to discover this, though I don’t think a personality quiz is the right answer. Think about what it is that drives you and what the best (and worst) bosses you’ve had were like. 

Lara Hogan, who I immensely respect, has a worksheet for you.

Some core questions to answer, with my current answers (and re-assess frequently!):

  • What are the values that matter most in leadership to you? I value honesty and persistence. Kindness, with candor.
  • How do you want someone else to describe you as a leader? She is hard on me sometimes, but it’s always for the better and I always know where she’s coming from.
  • What kinds of environments do you do best in? Teamwork must be important. I don’t do well in groups that are only there to beat their chest. Supportive, but thoughtful environments where you can be honest, but no one takes anything personally. I must be able to fail, and not worry about consequences. 
  • How do all of the above manifest on a daily level? I like to know about everything, so I’m never surprised, but I don’t need to manage day to day. I want to give overall direction and trust my teams to manifest them in whatever way they believe works best. I always give hard news in person, and criticism. I like having check-ins so I can stay on top of all of the above, or having dashboards where I can see what’s going on.

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About the author

P. Kim Bui

P. Kim Bui is the editor-at-large for NowThis News, focusing on original, social reporting and breaking news. Prior to NowThis, she was deputy managing editor for reported.ly, a digital media startup specializing in social journalism. Her career has focused on leading breaking news initiatives and new storytelling forms for local, national and global audiences.

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