It is often said that managers are appointed and leaders selected. True leaders tend to stand out from a crowd and attract people eager to follow them. However anyone in a position of responsibility can and should reflect on what qualities their staff sees in them – and how truly willing staff is to follow them (as opposed to just agreeing with what they say).
How can you tell in the absence of a 360° exercise whether your staff is behind you with heart and soul? You can start by asking yourself the following questions:
1) When was the last time a staff member spontaneously told you he/she really enjoys working with you or is excited by his/her job?
2) How high is the staff turnover in the area under your responsibility? How does this compare with the company-wide average?
3) How high is the sick leave average in your area? How does it compare with the company-wide average?
4) How easy or difficult is it to fill empty positions with highly qualified in-house applicants?
5) When was the last time a staff member informed you that he/she had been contacted by a headhunter but preferred to stay in your organization/division/department?
6) How often does your staff actively debate your ideas – and inform you after the discussion that they now are convinced by your position and actively support it?
These are just a few of the questions one can ask, and are by no means scientific, as each of them can be influenced by factors other than your leadership qualities. However, taken together, even the answers to these questions will give a good first indication of how appreciated you are as a leader!