Originally published on Forbes.com on October 3, 2017.

Being a leader takes great skill. You need to garner the respect of your peers and also lead in a responsible and effective manner. Some of the greatest leaders also take a moment to assess their skills and activity using a leadership audit.

The benefit of a leadership audit is the ability to discover areas where you need to improve and celebrate the areas where you are excelling. According to a report by MindTools, having the responsibilities of a leader doesn’t necessarily make you a good leader. But, leadership can be learned, and by asking the right questions, you can easily see the areas where you need to make changes to your style.

Below, 15 members of Forbes Coaches Council share the one question leaders should be asking themselves as part of their own leadership audit. Here is what they had to say:

1. When Did I Last Look In The Mirror?

As leaders, let’s encourage a culture of accountability, creativity and innovation by continually looking in the mirror to develop solutions for moving forward, particularly if something didn’t go as planned. Rather than blaming or pointing fingers, we should reflect on how we’d like to be treated, roll up our sleeves, anticipate risks and leap forward to help. – Joanne MarkowGreenMason

2. Where Are My Blind Spots?

It’s no surprise that leaders are extraordinarily talented and experienced professionals in their respective fields. Even still, no leader can attest to knowing everything. Everyone has blind spots and knowledge gaps, and when discovered, they must be addressed. No matter their achievements or the laundry list of recent wins, leaders should be eager to uncover their weak areas and improve them. – Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq.WordSmithRapport

3. Am I Being The Change I Want To See?

The famous quote by Gandhi, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” is very applicable for leaders. This first requires clarity on the impact you want to have as a leader, then ensures your actions and words role model that impact. If you are not successfully doing what you ask of others, you can’t expect them to follow with enthusiasm. – Bonnie DavisDestination Up

4. What Are My Reactive Triggers?

We all have reactive triggers. Knowing your reactive tendencies will allow you to shift to using these strengths in a creative and strategic way. Not asking this question keeps you reacting to day-to-day fires and situations and will dig a bigger and bigger hole. To step into strategic leadership, you must continually raise your personal awareness of how you react. Do you protect, comply or control? – Jenn LofgrenIncito Executive & Leadership Development

5. Who Do I Need To Get Feedback From?

The question leaders need to ask is not to themselves, but to every single person who works for them. The best leaders are those who have developed relationships where the answers they get are genuine and honest. “What am I doing well, and what’s in the way of my being the best possible leader I can be?” Getting feedback from others is far more important than any question you ask yourself. – David Butlein, Ph.D., BLUECASE Strategic Partners

6. What Don’t I Know That I Need To Know?

And who from my team can fill in the gap? This is a great way to grow people around you, as you’re paying attention to the fact that everyone knows something you don’t. It shows respect for their knowledge, gives you a sense of how they think and can support you, and how you can help them grow, as well. – Donna KarlinNo Ceiling, Just Sky™ Institute

7. How Well Do I Listen And Connect With Others?

As a leader, do you really listen to others? How do you know and how do you demonstrate that you really heard the other person? When we actively listen to another person, trust develops, the other person feels valued and important, and miscommunication, misunderstandings, and misinterpretations decrease. Listening slows down the conversation where each individual feels more connected. – Melinda Fouts, Ph.D.Success Starts With You

8. Have I Made An Impact?

As part of a leadership audit, one must ask oneself if they are making an impact in the people they are leading. Yes, you may start out with a goal or mission, but ultimately a check-in is required to see if your approach needs to be adjusted based on your impact, to support your initiatives or lack thereof. – Niya Allen-VatelResume Newbie

9. Am I Focused On My No. 1 Goal?

The key to leadership is to motivate others and oneself to doggedly pursue a specific goal. Often, in the heat of putting out fires and working on the business, instead of in the business, the pursuit of the primary goal (whether revenue, getting top talent, building a great product, etc.) gets pushed to the side. A “leadership audit” should recalibrate whether the pursuit is on track. – Yuri KrumanMaster The Talk Consulting

10. Am I Growing As A Leader?

We often reach a point in our leadership journey where we feel that we have found a groove and don’t step outside our comfort zone. Instead, audit your leadership knowledge, management skills, strategy and innovation. Ask for on-the-spot feedback and conduct a 360-degree assessment with your team. By continuously expanding, you drive your own performance and engagement, and that of your team’s. – Loren MargolisTraining & Leadership Success LLC

11. Is My Ax Sharpened?

The saying “sharpen your ax” comes from the parable of a woodcutter who chopped less wood because his ax was dull. Leaders get dull too. Without continuous learning and professional development, leaders can become less effective. So, while cultivating others, don’t forget to sharpen your own ax. You’ll then work smarter and not harder. Great leaders take the time to invest in themselves. – Tamiko CuellarPursue Your Purpose LLC

12. How Do Unconscious Biases Impact My Decisions?

Unconscious bias affects decisions. We’ve developed many kinds of biases to help us navigate the world with a minimum effort, but they can also hinder someone from considering different options when making decisions. Leaders should learn to accept that we are all biased before we can begin to take positive action to identify them and to mitigate bias with specific strategies. – Maria PastoreMaria Pastore Coaching

13. What Do I Get Paid To Do?

That’s the question I find many leaders are stumped by, or the answer they provide is a template response. What are you paid to do? Generate revenue, build products, engineer solutions? Nope. You get paid to be a leader. What that genuinely means varies notably based on the leader and organization. True clarity on what being a leader is remains one puzzle piece I find many people struggle to find. – Leila Bulling TowneThe Bulling Towne Group, LLC

14. What Fears Am I Not Facing?

Each leader has their own set of fears. Each context brings new permutations for activating those fears. Seasoning can often mean developing skills to work around fears rather than facing them directly. A leadership audit that includes surfacing fears, along with how and when they manifest, is the first step to diminishing their hold. The second is holding yourself accountable to new behaviors. – Maureen CunninghamUp Until Now Inc.

15. Am I Pushing Or Pulling?

Leaders often share their vision and then tell their reports how to execute. These leaders are “pushing information” out and expecting folks to “snap to it.” Evolved leaders work to pull information from their teams. When individuals are asked what their greatest aspirations are, not only does the goal become more compelling, but the team is all in, as they helped to create the vision. – Deborah GoldsteinDRIVEN Professionals

Justin Follin
Justin Follin is a founding partner and CEO at BLUECASE Strategic Partners. He is a CEO coach and organizational consultant with primary expertise in the areas of visionary leadership development, cross-functional strategic leadership, solving complex adaptive challenges and innovation. He is the primary designer of the BLUECASE Leadership Development Process for fast-scaling, mid-market companies and M&A environments. He has led hundreds of Executives, Directors, and Managers through cross-functional leadership development and has coached public and private CEOs, business leaders, TEDx presenters, academic professors, musicians, and athletes to perform at optimal levels. He has also designed or executed leadership development and consulting approaches delivered inside some of the world’s largest oil and gas, construction, and mining companies.
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Justin Follin
Justin Follin is a founding partner and CEO at BLUECASE Strategic Partners. He is a CEO coach and organizational consultant with primary expertise in the areas of visionary leadership development, cross-functional strategic leadership, solving complex adaptive challenges and innovation. He is the primary designer of the BLUECASE Leadership Development Process for fast-scaling, mid-market companies and M&A environments. He has led hundreds of Executives, Directors, and Managers through cross-functional leadership development and has coached public and private CEOs, business leaders, TEDx presenters, academic professors, musicians, and athletes to perform at optimal levels. He has also designed or executed leadership development and consulting approaches delivered inside some of the world’s largest oil and gas, construction, and mining companies.
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Christine Trevino
Christine Trevino is Chief Operating Officer and efficiency extraordinaire at BLUECASE Strategic Partners. She has a strong commitment to ensuring our processes create an exceptional experience for our clients and our internal team. After spending nearly a decade within one of the nation’s largest health systems, Christine knows the foundational infrastructure necessary for operational efficiency, conflict management, resolution strategies and creating connections to truly understand what is wanted and needed and how to best accomplish it, whether supporting the business or supporting people. Christine has served in other mission focused organizations, like Texas Exes (Hook Em’) and Whole Foods Market where she had the opportunity to be a servant leader and contribute to making an impact in the lives of others as she also does through our work at BLUECASE. Christine is married to her high school sweetheart and they have five children. She enjoys the outdoors, photography and volunteering in various organizations.
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David B. Greenspan
David Greenspan, Ph.D., is the Founder of BLUECASE Strategic Partners. He has a PH.D. in High-Performance Psychology with expertise in why certain individuals and teams perform at exceptional levels, even in suboptimal circumstances. BLUECASE facilitates strategic planning and teaches managers and executives at fast-growing companies how to create seamless cross-functional collaboration, feedback-rich cultures, and high levels of engagement. An expert in creating high-performance corporate cultures and teams, David is an energizing leader, coach, and facilitator known for his capacity to galvanize groups to generate breakthrough results. David has over fifteen years of experience working with senior executives at Fortune 100 companies and executive teams of fast-growing PE-backed companies with between $50 Million and $2 Billion in annual revenue. Notable clients include ESO, Vida Capital, Intersys, Four Hands, AffiniPay, Logix, University of Texas, Maidbot, Bypass Mobile, Austin Fitness Group/Orange Theory Fitness, Kerbey Lane Cafe, ShippingEasy, Triangle Services, Allegiance Mobile Health, and YPO.
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David B. Greenspan
David Greenspan, Ph.D., is the Founder of BLUECASE Strategic Partners. He has a PH.D. in High-Performance Psychology with expertise in why certain individuals and teams perform at exceptional levels, even in suboptimal circumstances. BLUECASE facilitates strategic planning and teaches managers and executives at fast-growing companies how to create seamless cross-functional collaboration, feedback-rich cultures, and high levels of engagement. An expert in creating high-performance corporate cultures and teams, David is an energizing leader, coach, and facilitator known for his capacity to galvanize groups to generate breakthrough results. David has over fifteen years of experience working with senior executives at Fortune 100 companies and executive teams of fast-growing PE-backed companies with between $50 Million and $2 Billion in annual revenue. Notable clients include ESO, Vida Capital, Intersys, Four Hands, AffiniPay, Logix, University of Texas, Maidbot, Bypass Mobile, Austin Fitness Group/Orange Theory Fitness, Kerbey Lane Cafe, ShippingEasy, Triangle Services, Allegiance Mobile Health, and YPO.
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Christel Frietsch
Christel Frietsch is the Operations Administrator at BLUECASE Strategic Partners. She has 30 years of administrative experience with expertise in scheduling, correspondence, logistics and project coordination. Prior to joining the BLUECASE team, she was the Director of Operations for an Austin based CPG healthy lifestyle company, an Executive Administrator for a land use consulting firm, and an Executive Assistant to the CEO of an international disease prevention and wellness company. Originally from Austin, TX, Christel graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry, and completed her minor study in Psychology. She is an IIN Certified Integrative Holistic Health Coach and an IPHM Certified Energy Healer. Christel currently lives in New Braunfels, TX with her partner and two rescued dogs. She enjoys spending time in nature, gardening and reading.
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Lori Darley
Lori brings nearly two decades of experience as a transformational coach and consultant and has worked extensively with leaders and C-suite executives in many industries. She coaches organizations from multi-national corporations, such as Ferro Chemical, a global cosmetics firm and a Fortune 500 “Class One” rail transportation company. She has also worked with a wide variety of entrepreneurial ventures and individuals in non-profits, manufacturing, financial services, management consulting, commercial real estate and the arts. Lori is a certified somatic coach, recognized by the Strozzi Institute, and a certified Peak Potentials trainer. Additional certifications include Ken Blanchard’s Situational Leadership, Gallup Strengths-Finder, the Myers/Briggs Personality Assessment and the EQi-2 (an Emotional Intelligence assessment and 360 feedback model).
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Lori Darley
Lori brings nearly two decades of experience as a transformational coach and consultant and has worked extensively with leaders and C-suite executives in many industries. She coaches organizations from multi-national corporations, such as Ferro Chemical, a global cosmetics firm and a Fortune 500 “Class One” rail transportation company. She has also worked with a wide variety of entrepreneurial ventures and individuals in non-profits, manufacturing, financial services, management consulting, commercial real estate and the arts. Lori is a certified somatic coach, recognized by the Strozzi Institute, and a certified Peak Potentials trainer. Additional certifications include Ken Blanchard’s Situational Leadership, Gallup Strengths-Finder, the Myers/Briggs Personality Assessment and the EQi-2 (an Emotional Intelligence assessment and 360 feedback model).
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Robin Knudsen
Robin combines 20 years of international corporate experience with that of leadership development to bring insight into creating diverse and inclusive cultures and improving how teams function. As a coach and facilitator, Robin has worked with a broad range of companies across industries from Fortune 100’s through to entrepreneurs and SME’s. Robin holds a BA from The University of Texas at Austin and a Masters in Organization Development from St. Edward’s University. She is a certified executive coach, trained in NLP, HeartMath, and Reiki.
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Robin Knudsen
Robin combines 20 years of international corporate experience with that of leadership development to bring insight into creating diverse and inclusive cultures and improving how teams function. As a coach and facilitator, Robin has worked with a broad range of companies across industries from Fortune 100’s through to entrepreneurs and SME’s. Robin holds a BA from The University of Texas at Austin and a Masters in Organization Development from St. Edward’s University. She is a certified executive coach, trained in NLP, HeartMath, and Reiki.
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Shawn Clark
Shawn Clark is a certified Executive Coach who brings extensive hands-on leadership experience to every coaching session. His business background includes senior leadership roles for mission-critical teams and initiatives with global Fortune 500 companies and U.S. Government agencies. Shawn delivers powerful, effective and efficient coaching experiences which enables his clients to achieve results that were previously unattainable. Shawn strives to ensure the coaching journey is a fulfilling and enjoyable experience loaded with exploration, discovery, creativity, growth and achievement.
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Shawn Clark
Shawn Clark is a certified Executive Coach who brings extensive hands-on leadership experience to every coaching session. His business background includes senior leadership roles for mission-critical teams and initiatives with global Fortune 500 companies and U.S. Government agencies. Shawn delivers powerful, effective and efficient coaching experiences which enables his clients to achieve results that were previously unattainable. Shawn strives to ensure the coaching journey is a fulfilling and enjoyable experience loaded with exploration, discovery, creativity, growth and achievement.
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Trish Perevich
Trish brings over 10 years of experience as an Executive Coach and has coached a range of professionals from emerging leaders to C-Suite Executives. Her experience includes individual and group coaching; design and delivery of corporate training and coaching programs; and facilitation of SVP and C-Level Peer Advisory Groups. Trish has worked with a range of organizations from startups to Enterprise Fortune 100 companies including Genentech/Roche, Google, NASA and the United States Airforce. She has served dozens of industries including technology, finance, life science, construction, healthcare, education and more. Supporting her experience is a BS Degree in Business/Marketing from The Rochester Institute of Technology. Trish holds the PCC coaching credential along with certificates in Conscious Business Coaching and Team Advantage Coaching. Outside of work Trish enjoys golf, hiking, yoga, fitness classes, cooking and travel.
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Trish Perevich
Trish brings over 10 years of experience as an Executive Coach and has coached a range of professionals from emerging leaders to C-Suite Executives. Her experience includes individual and group coaching; design and delivery of corporate training and coaching programs; and facilitation of SVP and C-Level Peer Advisory Groups. Trish has worked with a range of organizations from startups to Enterprise Fortune 100 companies including Genentech/Roche, Google, NASA and the United States Airforce. She has served dozens of industries including technology, finance, life science, construction, healthcare, education and more. Supporting her experience is a BS Degree in Business/Marketing from The Rochester Institute of Technology. Trish holds the PCC coaching credential along with certificates in Conscious Business Coaching and Team Advantage Coaching. Outside of work Trish enjoys golf, hiking, yoga, fitness classes, cooking and travel.
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Kan Yan
Kan has worked as an international humanitarian for the United Nations, a lawyer for the US Federal Courts, and a management consultant for McKinsey & Company where he consulted Fortune 500 clients across numerous industries with a focus on organizational health and leadership development. He has a law degree from Harvard Law School and a Masters of Law and Diplomacy from the Tufts Fletcher School.
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Kan Yan
Kan has worked as an international humanitarian for the United Nations, a lawyer for the US Federal Courts, and a management consultant for McKinsey & Company where he consulted Fortune 500 clients across numerous industries with a focus on organizational health and leadership development. He has a law degree from Harvard Law School and a Masters of Law and Diplomacy from the Tufts Fletcher School.
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Paulin Laberge
Paulin has co-founded two technology companies and has served as CEO of five. After more than 30 years of senior leadership roles in the technology industry, Paulin recently made the transition from running companies to helping teams grow their companies. His most recent engagement was as CEO of iCompass Technologies, a SaaS company that delivers solutions that strengthen open and efficient government, and which resulted in a successful exit at the end of 2017. He has been an advisor and mentor to numerous technology companies. Paulin has firsthand experience in building organizations, developing effective strategies, securing financing, developing market-leading products, establishing strategic alliances, marketing, and selling domestically and internationally. He has worked with boards and management teams to help them precisely execute critical corporate objectives and business strategies, create performance-centric cultures, and engaged, motivated teams, focused on driving results. Paulin has been an Entrepreneur in Residence at the British Columbia Innovation Council, where he established a province-wide mentor program. He was also actively involved in the development and delivery of growth, strategy, and market validation programs widely used by several technology accelerators. Paulin started his career as an Electrical Engineer after graduating from the University of Alberta. Throughout his career, Paulin has trained in numerous areas including, strategy, finance, sales, marketing, negotiations, organizational development, mentoring, and coaching. He resides with his wife, Lea, and their dog Huxley, on the west coast near Vancouver, BC.
Senior Strategic Planning Consultant
Paulin Laberge
Paulin has co-founded two technology companies and has served as CEO of five. After more than 30 years of senior leadership roles in the technology industry, Paulin recently made the transition from running companies to helping teams grow their companies. His most recent engagement was as CEO of iCompass Technologies, a SaaS company that delivers solutions that strengthen open and efficient government, and which resulted in a successful exit at the end of 2017. He has been an advisor and mentor to numerous technology companies. Paulin has firsthand experience in building organizations, developing effective strategies, securing financing, developing market-leading products, establishing strategic alliances, marketing, and selling domestically and internationally. He has worked with boards and management teams to help them precisely execute critical corporate objectives and business strategies, create performance-centric cultures, and engaged, motivated teams, focused on driving results. Paulin has been an Entrepreneur in Residence at the British Columbia Innovation Council, where he established a province-wide mentor program. He was also actively involved in the development and delivery of growth, strategy, and market validation programs widely used by several technology accelerators. Paulin started his career as an Electrical Engineer after graduating from the University of Alberta. Throughout his career, Paulin has trained in numerous areas including, strategy, finance, sales, marketing, negotiations, organizational development, mentoring, and coaching. He resides with his wife, Lea, and their dog Huxley, on the west coast near Vancouver, BC.
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Lisa Jaecklein
Lisa is well known in high tech industries for her work in developing and leading high-performance teams. She has “walked the talk” as President and CEO for private and public engineering based companies in Satellite Communications, Telecom and Commercial Enterprise markets. Lisa’s corporate background includes leading an IPO, Strategic Planning, Mergers and Acquisitions and integration of global teams. She draws from her diverse market experience and passion for coaching to support professional development of executives and senior management teams. Her focus areas include supporting development/ refinement of strategic plans, executive coaching to advance leadership capabilities and organization alignment necessary to support strategy implementation. Lisa brings a unique understanding of the interdependencies of people and business that drives results and ways to sustain a positive level of energy in her clients personal and professional lives. Lisa holds a BS in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco and has served as Director on a number of corporate and not for profit Boards.
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Lisa Jaecklein
Lisa is well known in high tech industries for her work in developing and leading high-performance teams. She has “walked the talk” as President and CEO for private and public engineering based companies in Satellite Communications, Telecom and Commercial Enterprise markets. Lisa’s corporate background includes leading an IPO, Strategic Planning, Mergers and Acquisitions and integration of global teams. She draws from her diverse market experience and passion for coaching to support professional development of executives and senior management teams. Her focus areas include supporting development/ refinement of strategic plans, executive coaching to advance leadership capabilities and organization alignment necessary to support strategy implementation. Lisa brings a unique understanding of the interdependencies of people and business that drives results and ways to sustain a positive level of energy in her clients personal and professional lives. Lisa holds a BS in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco and has served as Director on a number of corporate and not for profit Boards.
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