With Martin G. Moore

Episode #186

Your Personal Leadership Audit: Discovering your leadership blindspots

After being inundated with questions about our upcoming cohort of Leadership Beyond the Theory, we thought it would be useful to produce an episode for you to assess your current leadership capability.

By working through the 7 imperatives of my No Bullsh!t Leadership framework, you’ll be able to quickly determine where your blindspots are. What areas could you further develop, if you’re serious about reaching your full potential as a leader?

This is an exercise in self-awareness, and it’ll take some introspection on your part. To make this easier for you, we’ve developed a free editable PDF worksheet (which you can download below) that will take you through all the questions and reflections in the episode!


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Episode #186 Your Personal Leadership Audit: Discovering your leadership blindspots

You may have heard that our seven week online program Leadership Beyond the Theory (or LBT as we like to call it) is opening its doors next week. And our Customer Success team has been absolutely flooded with emails from potential students asking if this program is the right fit for them. So Em and I thought it would be useful to produce a podcast episode where you can work through the seven imperatives of my No Bullsh!t Leadership framework to find out where your blind spots actually are. What are the areas you need to further develop if you are serious about reaching your full potential as a leader? I’m going to go through each imperative and ask some questions that I want you to seriously reflect upon, and then give yourself a score out of 10.

This is an exercise in self-awareness, and it’ll take some introspection on your part to complete. If you are currently in the gym on a long bike ride or driving the car by all means, have a listen to this episode now and go through your mental checklist, but I’d also really like you to commit to yourself that you’ll come back to it. When you have time to record your scores properly, to make this easier for you, we’ve developed an editable PDF worksheet. It’ll take you through all the questions and reflections. So I’d really encourage you to listen to the episode and score the worksheet at the same time. This is a really solid stocktake of the things that you’re doing well, and the things that you may not have yet mastered. And trust me, in case you haven’t already realized this thing, you never master everything – I’m still very much a work in progress.

In today’s episode, I’m simply going to run through the seven leadership imperatives and ask the questions that will allow you to do an honest self assessment of where you are now. Before listening to this episode, download the personal leadership audit editable PDF.

So let’s get into it.

It’s good to have a little context around these seven imperatives, and there are a couple of episodes that I released very early on in the No Bullsh!t Leadership journey that will help you to get the context. These are absolute golden oldies which were all about the roadmap to exceptional leadership:

Episode 25 – The Roadmap to Exceptional Leadership Part 1: Common Leadership Attributes and Competencies

In the first part of this two part series, I covered off on the role that leadership attributes and leadership competencies play in your overall performance.

Episode 26 – The Roadmap to Exceptional Leadership Part 2: The 7 Pillars of Leadership Performance

In the second part, I go through the seven imperatives of the No Bullsh!t Leadership framework to give you a better understanding of what each of them is.

If you get the opportunity to listen to these, you’ll find that the context is pretty useful. All right, here we go. Have you got your worksheet ready? Don’t be afraid to wear the fingerprint off your index finger by pressing pause so that you can consider these questions properly.


We start here because this is the core to everything a leader does. Your purpose is to deliver value for the stakeholders of your organization: customers, owners, employees, regulators, bankers, the communities in which you operate. That’s it, period. It’s all about value.

As a leader, your job is to work out what represents value in your context, your industry, your company, your market, and this point in time, understanding what truly represents value is core to everything else that you do. For example, if I’m given a choice between investing my company’s resources into, let’s say, a project that yields additional profits, or one that keeps my people safer when they come to work, which should I choose? A leader’s job is to answer difficult and complex questions like this, and provide clarity for their people about what they need to do individually and collectively in order to create value. Without a laser-like focus on value, most of your people are just going to end up cranking the handle.

So, to work out how confident you are with delivering value as a leader, I’ve got five questions for you:

  1. How well do you understand what creates the most value at the organizational level?

  2. How easy is it to communicate the tangible value that your work program delivers?

  3. Can you trace the value from every activity that you’re investing in, all the way through to when and where it’s actually delivered?

  4. To what extent is your team focused on completing activities, rather than realizing the value that those activities potentially deliver?

  5. How confident are you that your people are currently working on the right things?

Now, after you’ve scored these individually, grab your calculator and add up those scores. If you divide the total by five, that’s going to give you an average score out of 10. That represents your self assessment on the imperative of delivering value.


The inability to handle conflict is the number one Career Killer for a leader. Almost everything we do when we take on the mantle of leadership involves some form of conflict. For example, unless we can handle conflict, we can’t build a high performing team. We can’t negotiate successfully. We can’t engage our best people in the decision making process. Performance declines. Conflict aversion is most often driven by a deep seated need for acceptance – the need to be liked. And, although this may be counterintuitive, a leader has to learn to overcome this core driver if they’re to be truly successful. Respect Before Popularity is the mantra of the No Bullsh!t leader. So, to work out how confident you are at handling conflict, here are five questions:

  1. To what extent does your fear of conflict affect your performance?

  2. How comfortable do you feel when you have to have a tough one-on-one conversation?

  3. How prone are you to letting your emotions derail you in negotiations?

  4. How difficult do you find it to contribute in meetings when leaders who are above you in the hierarchy are present?

  5. How comfortable are you at facilitating the robust discussions that your team members invariably have?

All right, once again, score and work out your average.


Many senior leaders have developed a level of resilience that enables them to withstand the trials and tribulations of life. In a large organization, resilience is a critical piece in your repertoire. Everyone experiences obstacles, setbacks, and disappointments, but your success depends very much on how well you manage them.

Given many people’s underdeveloped capacity for self-awareness, it’s sometimes difficult to identify a lack of resilience in yourself. How do you narrow the scope of a problem to make it more manageable? How do you develop the perspective to deal calmly with a crisis? And how do you eventually acquire that elusive state of grace under pressure to work out how you perform under pressure? Here are five questions, and don’t forget to rate yourself using the editable PDF worksheet:

  1. How attuned are you to how others see you behave in adverse situations?

  2. To what extent do you rely on feedback to help you understand your performance in tough situations?

  3. How easy do you find it to separate issues into the things that you can influence and the things that you can’t?

  4. How easy do you find it to put any setbacks into a longer term perspective as soon as they occur?

  5. Do you feel genuinely calm when a crisis unfolds or are you actually panicking inside, just trying to keep your game face on?

You know the drill, grab your calculator, add up the individual scores, divide the total by five and get your average score out of 10. This will give you a rough self-assess guide as to where you are in terms of your resilience.


It’s so much easier when one of your team isn’t doing their job properly to just step in and do it for them. Why? Because you can. Because it makes you feel good. Because it’s easy to rationalize – “I always get the job done.” The problem is, you are not paid to do your people’s jobs. You are paid to do your own. Understanding the difference between leading your people and doing their jobs for them will help you to avoid an ever increasing workload. You can’t ascend through the layers of an organization while still being indispensable to the functioning of your current team.

Although it might seem a little bit perverse, your goal should be to make yourself redundant, not to make yourself indispensable. If your team can’t function without you, and the capability below you is weak, you make it difficult for your bosses to move you somewhere else. You start to look like someone who absolutely belongs in your current role, not the next level up. So, have a crack at these questions, rating yourself on the 10 point scale:

  1. How necessary do you feel it is for you to be involved in the detailed work of your team?

  2. To what extent do you seek to achieve outcomes through other people rather than yourself?

  3. Do you trust your people to do their jobs and just let them get on with it?

  4. To what extent can you see opportunities to reduce your current workload if you didn’t have to cover for people when they don’t deliver.

  5. How easy did you find your transition to a new level when you were last promoted?

Now, once again, calculate your average out of 10 and write it down. This is really important, and it’ll save you a lot of work and grief – if you can get this one right.


In our generation, there’s never been a more ambiguous time. The global COVID-19 pandemic has truly shaken the world order, broken the paradigms that we had taken for granted, and introduced a completely different set of strategic considerations, which no one had even envisaged before this decade began. Be that as it may, the role of a leader remains exactly the same.

As you take on accountability for more senior roles, a critical leadership capability is to sit comfortably in ambiguity, to absorb the complexity and uncertainty of your environment, and then translate that into tangible concrete action for those you lead. A leader doesn’t have the luxury of succumbing to the temptation of lying in fetal position until the ambiguity is resolved, and the best of us even find a way to use ambiguity to steal a strategic march on our competitors. So let’s test ourselves again.

  1. How strong is your tendency to freeze when the ambiguity is severe?

  2. How good are you at filtering irrelevant information to chart a clear course of action?

  3. How easy do you find it to converse with people when you haven’t got all the answers?

  4. How likely are you to make bold decisions in times of uncertainty?

  5. Do you find that you can always map a productive path forward for your team, even when you may not have all the pieces of the puzzle?

Remember, you’re only doing this for yourself. So please be as honest as you can and take the learnings from this exercise to heart.


One head to pat, one ass to kick – simples. They both belong to the same person. Shared accountability is no accountability, but accountability and empowerment are symbiotic. How do you create an environment where people are truly empowered to make decisions and live with the consequences?

Ultimately, people actually crave greater accountability. So letting them make their own decisions frees them up to pursue excellence. Setting up clear accountabilities can be tricky – especially of today’s organizations of ever increasing structural complexity – but there are ways to implement a single point accountability model, even in complex diverse and matrix driven organizations. Lots of organizations have good strategies, but it’s the ones who execute best that thrive, and this comes down to building a strong accountability culture. This is an absolute key to getting done. Let’s see where we are:

  1. To what extent do you have clarity on who’s accountable for outcomes right now?

  2. How comfortable are you personally to take on accountability when you don’t have complete control?

  3. How well do you think you empower your people to do their jobs?

  4. How likely are you to intervene in your people’s decisions and dilute their accountability?

  5. To what extent are you a positive role model for your people in taking accountability?

All right, now go and calculate your average score out of 10. Again, I hope that’s a high score because this is a big deal.


Making better decisions faster than your competitors is a key determinant of your organization’s own success. Setting up a culture in which speed of decision making is valued without allowing it to degenerate into a series of knee jerk reactions is a difficult balance for any leader to tread. How do you know what makes a great decision? How do you muster the discipline to push yourself to act quickly and decisively amidst complexity and uncertainty? How do you unlock the knowledge and capability of the people around you? How do you acquire the right information and how much information is actually enough? I don’t know any great leaders who aren’t also great decision makers. So, how do you score yourself on the 10 point scale for decision making excellence?

  1. How would you currently rate your decision making speed?

  2. How much data do you need to feel comfortable about making a decision?

  3. How well do you think you maintain a long term value focus when you make a decision?

  4. How widely do you consider the impact of your decisions on all stakeholders?

  5. To what extent do you draw out the best from the diverse expertise that you have in your team?

One last time, tally up the scores, divide by five and get your average score for your ability to make great decisions.


I want you to have a look at your scores. Anything over eight: you’re doing great, well done. Anything under eight: well, you may want to look at how you can improve in some of these areas. After doing this personal leadership audit, you now know where your blind spots are, so don’t ignore them. Be a No Bullsh!t leader and commit to consistent learning and movement.

Of course, if you want a proven roadmap to improve in all seven of these areas, then the best way to strengthen your leadership across the board is to join us for the next cohort of Leadership Beyond the Theory. If you’re a dedicated podcast listener you’ll know that we only deliver content that’s practical and valuable, and Leadership Beyond the Theory is there for you when you decide to get serious about changing, and you’re ready to commit to doing the work. That’s going to put you on the path to exceptional leadership performance. If you want to find out more about that, visit our website, and don’t delay because we’re opening the doors for enrollment in just a few days.


  • Ep. #25: The Roadmap to Exceptional Leadership Part 1 – Listen Here

  • Ep. #26: The Roadmap to Exceptional Leadership Part 2 – Listen Here

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