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Are You Comfortable Being Independent as a Leader?

Are You Comfortable Being Independent as a Leader?

Most people do not need enemies because they end up being their own worst critic!

Focusing on the negative and what can go wrong will sabotage your effectiveness as a leader as well as interfere with your personal relationships. The tendency to do this increases with chronic stress and unrelenting pressure.  In one important area, this negativity limits your ability to be independent when you need to be; leaders need to have a degree of independence to carry out their role. 

Go through the following questions to evaluate your comfort with operating independently.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself


#1: Do you wait to be asked what you think?

This can look like fear or insecurity. When you have a habit of waiting to speak your mind, confidence is undermined. Make a point this week to be the first to speak up; take the initiative to speak up sooner rather than later.

#2 Are you “independent” only when you know the right answer?

Leadership requires you solve problems that have a broader scope than your clinical expertise. This is the stretch that happens in leadership. To be successful, you have to keep growing. One way leaders bridge this gap is they learn to engage those staff members who have the needed technical expertise and coach them as they solve the problem.

#3 Do you ask for advice more than your friends/coworkers ask you?

If you would prefer that someone else make the tough decisions, you will lose credibility as a leader. To continue to ask others what the “right thing” to do is, you undermine your confidence. Good leaders recognize they do not have all the answers and set up a plan to collect information, define the problem and then make the decision. 

#4 Are you independent to a fault?

The flip side of too little independence is having too much and acting like you do not need anyone’s opinion. This is also a pitfall for leaders. If you get stymied when others disagree with you or you feel like no one else understands the problem as you do, there may be a tendency to go it alone too much. Learn to actively listen and open yourself up to truly understanding what the opposing side is saying. Consider the pros and cons. Develop a network of people you trust and ask their opinion.

Leadership is an ongoing process of stretching, learning, testing the waters and continuing to move forward. 

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