Today’s guest post comes from Steve Roesler, whose blog All Things Workplace offers an endless supply of resources for learning about leadership effectiveness. Steve is a great friend, generous in sharing his wisdom and expertise with others. I am honored to share his post today. Take some time to consider his challenging questions.

Effective leaders —and those who want to be— have at least one thing in common: each is an ongoing student of leadership.

The ability to “learn and discern” forms the foundation for a lifetime of leading.


Because the key to success lies in choice. Decisions and the actions that follow determine the ultimate health of the organization and the people in it.

If organizations are composed of people, then healthy organizations require leaders who know how to maximize the workplace “health” of employees. That means understanding your own capabilities and creating a lifetime of self-evaluation to develop “leadership health.”

Here are eight questions to gauge where you stand right now. Reflect on them honestly, then check your responses with a few people who know you well and will offer straight answers that will provide insight into your self-perception:

1. Leadership:  Am I an effective leader and do I enable others to lead just as effectively in their areas?

2. Challenge: Do I check myself continuously, as well as my colleagues and the organization, in order to identify and act on areas that could be significantly improved?

3. Decisiveness: Do I identify issues quickly and resolve them as fast as I can; and, with due diligence?

4. Actions: Do I act on decisions and give feedback without delay?

5. Communication: Is everyone aware of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it?

6. Change: Have I created an atmosphere where everybody knows that  changes are a way of life and that we’ll discuss how best to implement them?

7. Basics: Have key success factors been identified and are working well? How do I know my observation is accurate?

8. Meaning: Do we have high and potentially satisfying goals that give meaning to the work we’re doing?

Just when you’ve developed a level of personal and leadership capability for the task at hand, you’ll discover that the next challenge requires even more depth and breadth. By quickly assessing your relationship to the new situation using these eight questions, you’ll be in “learn and discern” mode— the pathway to your next level of healthy leadership.

Are you ready to start today? Let us know what you learn!

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission.