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The Proactive Leader’s Checklist*

At the start of this New Year, what specifically do you need to work on as a business leader? Consider these 5 key elements to help you effectively build your organizational team, culture and practices. Decide your areas of strength, your areas of weakness, and what particularly you want to focus on for the start of this New Year.

A. Crafting Vision:

  • Creating and articulating a vision of what is possible, important and compelling for you and your organization
  • Making that vision, and the process of creating it, highly compelling and meaningful, setting a powerful tone and direction for the organization
  • Ensuring that the vision incorporates and is consistent with your organization's highest and best talents and capabilities
  • That vision reflecting the best of who you are and can become, and driving you to continually grow, expand and improve
B. Generating Organizational Alignment
  • Having people understand, embrace and attracted by the organization vision because of a strong connection to their own personal vision
  • Ensuring the vision drives the organization's mission (the why), which drives its goals (the what), which then drive the actions (the how) of the organization in every aspect of its work
  • Gaining commitment, focus, and effort by everyone towards the realization of that vision, mission and goals
  • Aligning the organizational structure, processes, resources, systems and practices in order to support the realization of the vision
C. Building Interpersonal Influence
  • Enrolling and moving key players both within and outside of the organization towards greater connection with the organization's vision
  • Communicating, coordinating and collaborating with your people so as to create high alignment and effectiveness
  • Getting people to focus on what is most important for organizational success, including helping them recover that focus as required
  • Moving people to willingly buy-into, serve and act on what is most important to them, their teams, the organization, the customers, and other key constituencies
D. Being Your Best (as a leader)
  • Defining and living your personal and professional vision that is well connected to the organization's vision
  • Always making decisions from, and acting congruent with, your own values, identity and purpose
  • Being an example of what you expect, desire or ask of others
  • Exhibiting courage in standing up for oneself and commitment to a higher meaning or purpose
  • Continually challenging yourself to learn, grow, practice, and improve as a person and leader
E. Bringing Out the Best in Others:
  • Seeing and cultivating the talents, resources, capabilities, possibilities and strengths of everyone around you, both individually and collectively
  • Providing the environment and opportunities to develop, grow and leverage the leadership abilities in everyone
  • Inspiring your team to bring out the best in their people and organizations
  • Supporting your people in connecting their personal values and vision to the organization's values and vision
Working on the right elements above can become an uplifting, inspiring, engaging and compelling exercise. This results in excellent organizational performance and sustainability, meaningful contribution to all key organizational constituents (customers, employees, shareholders, etc.), and personal fulfillment for employees including yourself as leader.

So, what will be your leadership focus for 2006?*

This 5-element leadership model is based on the thought leadership of Steve Lishansky, MCC, of Koanetic Consulting. The checklist was developed as a collaboration among Steve, Stever Robbins, author of It Takes a Lot More that Attitude ... to Lead a Stellar Organization, and Harvy Simkovits, CMC, author of Shepherding Business to Your Door: Moving from Chasing Business to Gaining Business.

Harvy Simkovits, CMC, President of Business Wisdom, works with owner managed companies to help them grow, prosper and continue on by offering innovative approaches to business development, company management, organization leadership and learning, and management education. He can be reached at 781-862-3983 or .

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