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May, 2013

What's your true impact? 


Just today after dropping my daughter Leila off at school I had a brief conversation with a parent who had also just dropped off her two children at the same elementary school. 

 

She started to tell me how her second child had completely "checked out" of school by dismissing her homework and not doing the necessary things to finish out the school year.  The parent made it clear to me that she had to stay on top of her second child a whole lot more than her first.  

 

In an exasperated tone she said "after all they do come from the same parents, it does make me wonder how much impact I really do have on them."  

 

I found the comment interesting because generally we are more likely to attribute positive outcomes to our influence and impact, but when it's negative it becomes a bit more difficult to do so.

 

While  I am not suggesting that it is entirely the parent's fault that the second child may be less responsible than the first child, but I am suggesting that some of this negative behavior can be attributed back to the parent in some way.

 

Likewise in the workplace, when we don't have the most optimal of results, the leader must take full accountability for the behaviors (positive and negative), as well as the advances and shortfalls of all its team members. It's easy to take credit when the outcome is good, but a mark of a good leader is taking accountability when the results have missed the mark.

 

Getting a true picture of our impact as leaders (and as parents) requires a balanced assessment.  By "taking out the mirror" and understanding both your positive influence areas as well as where you may be contributing to the negative outcomes will help you to grow exponentially as a leader..   

 

One way that leaders don't accurately understand how they are contributing to negative performance is by  not being fully aware of the competition and rivalry that may exist within teams.  A leader's actions may inadvertently trigger a performance issue   due to how these dynamics play out in the context of interactions among the team and with the leader. 

 

Sibling rivalries are no different. 

 

Leaders need to be constantly reevaluating themselves in this balanced way.  After all, it is great to have more wins than losses, but the most effective way to continue to succeed in the long run is to deal with the losses in an accountable way by knowing your true impact as a leader. 

 

 

 

 

Laura Lopez is an award-winning author of The Connected and Committed Leader.  She is a leadership and branding expert who has been featured on the Today Show, Latina Voices Smart Talk, Living Smart and Fox News

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In addition, her accomplishments have been highlighted in several business periodicals including  Personal Excellence, The Long Beach Business Journal, The Houston Chronicle, Latina Magazine, and Central Valley Business Times. Her articles on management and leadership are regularly seen in Leadership Excellence. 

Laura can be contacted via her Web site at:

 


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All the best,
 
Laura Lopez
 
Laura Lopez & Company
www.Laura-Lopez.com
(713) 868-5025
cell (713) 828-8829