360 Degree Leadership Challenge Questions
Challenge 1: How do you deal best with tension in a stressful situation?
I tend to deal with tension in many different ways, depending on the exact details of the situation. That being said, I’ve found my own personal best way to deal with tension and stress is to just get away from the situation for a little bit. It’s not that I put off doing anything about it, it’s just that I find time to subjectively think about it all from an outside perspective always leads me to a solution. In the occasional cases where leaving the problem for a while is not an option, I find that my second best method is to just sit down, and tackle the situation head on. It may not always seem like a great idea, but I’ve found that I’m constantly surprising myself with what I’m capable of doing when I truly set my mind to it, and after all, once a problem or situation has been dealt with, odds are it wont be stressing me out much any more. That is the thought behind my latter method of dealing with stress.
Challenge 2: What should you do when you find yourself following a leader who is ineffective? How do you continue to add value?
I think ineffective leaders may be more common than effective ones, so this question seems like a valuable one to reflect on from time to time. Oftentimes people find it hard to invest themselves in someone leading them who frankly just doesn’t do very well in their position. In some cases like the previously stated one, I think the best option can be something as simple as planting a smile onto your face and driving through with whatever it is you have to do. Just because a leader you’re following isn’t effective, doesn’t mean you don’t have to as well. You may not end up becoming the top ranking leader in whatever organization you’re working in, but it’s as simple as becoming a positive role-model, and influence to those around you, below you, and above you. The odds are effects might not take place right away, but I think it’s safe to say that if you act as a leader (no matter where you stand in the organization) that at least some people will be influenced to do the same, and so on until that ineffective leader of yours, has possibly became a little more effective.
Challenge 3: How do you normally react to change? What can you do differently to become more flexible?
I like to think I’m pretty comfortable with change, but I know in all reality that I’m not. My main method of dealing with change is to just sit back, accept it, and let it happen. Now that method for dealing with change may seem to work from time to time, when the change doesn’t really affect me all that much, but should a change of sorts arrive that does affect me more, I think the best possible way for me to become more flexible would be to stand up, and do everything in my power to encourage (or discourage the change, depending) the change, and even speed it on its way to becoming normality in my day to day life. If I am able to early detect possibilities of change, and do what’s best to help work with that change, make it change I’m prepared for than it will obviously be much easier to react to.
Challenge 4: Do you tend to focus more energy on production or promotion?
This is another question where I’d like to think the answer is one thing, but in reality I know it’s not. While there are (as with most things) some exceptions to it, I find that in my past, I have expended way more energy on promotion than production. As I grow as a person, learner and leader however; I think I am beginning to balance out my energy output a little more evenly.
Challenge 5: List some of the advantages and disadvantages of being out front.
There’s always advantages to being out front, and leading, such as everyone looking to you for answers, and following after you. That being said, the same thing could be considered a con, people look up to you and respect you if you’re a designated leader, which means there is a lot more responsibility and pressure put on your shoulders. A small mistake made by a low level employee might not get ridiculed as much as the same mistake made by one of the higher ranking personnel. Another reason for that would be that, the higher up you tend to go, the more eyes there are on you. A good example of this could be celebrities, social leaders of sorts who can never seem to get away from the eyes of their followers. Some thrive in that condition, but as so often heard of on the news, so many crash and burn as well.
Challenge 6: What would you rather do: see your own vision put into action and come to fruition, or help others fulfill theirs? Explain.
I have many reasons for answering this question with the latter option, the first of which being that for as long as I could remember, I’ve been rather fond of helping those around me. I find that putting a smile on someone else’s face, is always a good way to put one on your own. Secondly I think many people can agree, they often think the ideas, or works of others are better than their own, for whatever reasons. While I don’t like using that as a reason to effect my choice on the matter, I think it may still indirectly end up effecting my choice. My third, and personally appointed most important reason is that by helping others, others may feel obliged, or end up being more likely to help you in the future, meaning that so long as there’s time enough for both my own vision, and the vision of the ‘other’, both could be completed, and both could be completed with less overall effort, and more overall success.
Challenge 7: Describe the qualities of a leader you trust. Do you possess all of these qualities? If not, how can you become more trustworthy?
For as long as I can remember the number one thing I look for in not just leaders, but people in general is trustworthiness. In my mind it just makes sense to have trust as that first brick on the bridge to building a better relationship with someone, be it your partner, casual friend, or leader. Things that make someone trustworthy to me however, tend to vary by the person I find. One that I do see recurring often is their level of seriousness; if I’m going to be following this leader, I need to know they’re serious and dedicated to what it is their doing. That being said, I feel there is such thing as too serious. Sociopaths tend to reach high standings in large organizations and corporations simply because they’re so devoted to their work that they don’t empathize with others around them, should a situation where one would normally empathize occur. So with that brief thought in mind, I tend to like my leaders with a little sense of humour as well, a part of them that lets me know they are a real person, they do spend time outside of work, and they do like to have fun from time to time, all on top of their dedication to the task at hand.