Know the story of those I am leading. If the first step to effective leadership mapping is to know my own leadership story, the next logical step is to know the story of the people I am leading.
One mistake I have made before has been to enter into a leadership opportunity all too preoccupied (and quite frankly, too impressed) with my presumed ability to lead a group. That kind of self-inflatedness can bloat my perspective to the point of not being able to clearly see those I am supposed to lead.
Here are the who, why, what, when, where, and how questions that I have learned to answer so that I 1) realize if I am even the right leader for a group ahead of time, 2) invest in their story before I ever ask them to follow me somewhere, and 3) see a clearer picture of what we can accomplish together when I see how my leadership shape fits into their story.
- Who are the people?
- Why are they there?
- What’s the basic feel of the place?
- What are the demographics?
- What makes them unique or normal?
- What are their needs & struggles?
- What are the strengths and possibilities here?
- How does my leadership story fit with their story?