I believe that every person in this world has dreamed of having the power to be invisible. It would be nice to have the power to strategically vanish (if only for a little while). As nice as it would be…the power of invisibility does not translate well into the world of leadership.
Visibility is a key part of being an effective leader. The visibility of a leader has been linked to overall organizational effectiveness, innovation, and to student achievement in schools. Most people think of a single question when the notion of a leader's visibility comes up.
- Are you a visible leader?
I always find some fault with yes/no type questions because they do not require you to justify, prove or even think much. You can easily answer yes and still not be effective. This is often the case when we treat essential leadership traits as check marks. Each skill falls on a continuum with a never-ending cycle of improvement.
Instead, consider the following five questions:
- How would people know what you value?
- How does your calendar reflect what you find is important?
- Where are you the most visible?
- Where are you the least visible?
- Does this match your stated priorities, key initiatives, data points, etc.?
These are just a few questions to get you thinking about visibility and moving in the right direction on the continuum. The world is in need of super leaders. We just don't need one with powers of invisibility.
Showing up and being visible is only the first step. Now you have to do something!