By Steve Moran

A few days ago I stumbled on an article titled How Honest Self-Reflection Makes You a Better Leader. It included this subtitle: “Imagine sending everybody–family, friends, bosses, employees–the kind of survey you get from Uber or a hotel chain,” which is what really got my attention.

Leadership is Such a Tricky Thing

The greatest leaders have the right mix of self-confidence and self-doubt, bravado and fear, arrogance and humility. But it is really hard to get that right because it means, knowing when to use each of those traits and when to hold them back.  

I see leaders in senior living who are brash and arrogant. Who think they know better than anyone else and that their way is better. They frighten me, because in most cases when I look at their organizations they aren’t that good; they have significant challenges. Frighten isn’t quite the right word. Better is that they depress me, because when leaders lead badly, people get hurt. (BTW: If you are worried that I might be talking about you, it is almost guaranteed that I am not.)

I have also seen some really weak leaders and they are just as bad — maybe even worse. It is actually more likely that the brash arrogant ones will mostly run organizations that at least survive. Weak leaders are destined to crash their organizations.


Since I first read that article I have spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of star rating I would likely have to various groups of people and individuals in my life. Here is my self-assessment (I would love to hear yours if you are willing):

  1. My Wife — I am pretty sure she would say 5 but, I suspect, would think 4, because, well, at the very least I remember to take out the trash, pick-up dog poop, and close my dresser drawers.
  2. The 5th & 6th Grade Church Kids I Teach — This is the one area I am pretty sure I would get a 5 or pretty near a 5. It is my natural gift and strength buttressed by working really hard at prep every week.
  3. My Team I will confess that this one is probably the toughest. On some days, I am sure most would, at least say, 5. Some would mean it. Maybe, hopefully, at least on occasion they each would mean it. But I also know that sometimes, I have too many balls in the air and let some drop.
  4. My Sponsor Partners — I almost skipped this one because it feels like maybe it is too transparent. I am guessing it would average in the range of 4.4 to 4.7. We know, I know there are even more things we could do better and we are right now working on making at least some of those things happen.
  5. My Readers — Pretty sure I would land somewhere in the high 4’s. We don’t always get it right. We have even, on a couple of occasions, found ourselves needing to pull an article down, and in other cases simply saying we got it wrong. I also know there are people who used to be readers and got so mad or frustrated with what we publish that they unsubscribed, meaning they would give me a 1 or 2. That frankly goes with publishing and I am okay with that.

Last Words and a Challenge

I would love to have you weigh in on my self-assessment, just be gentle and, if it is bad, do it by email or private message. My challenge to you is to tell us where you think you would land in your areas of influence. I would also add that doing this exercise has helped me refocus on some areas that have not gotten as much attention as they should.

How about you?