Executives can shore up their leadership abilities by turning to the group they supervise for feedback. Consultant/executive coach Art Petty asserts this in a recent posting at his artpetty.com blog.

In other words, leaders stand to makes big gains in their professional development by asking their team what is working, what isn’t and what they need to do their jobs well, Petty writes.

At the same time, he said, executives who do this must stress that they value their group’s help and input. Petty argues that executives who are candid about pursuing self-improvement in their jobs can improve their credibility, as well as boost trust and collaboration. But while some employees will be supportive, others will be cynical about the process. Regardless of the reaction, executives will gain valuable data by being vocal about launching a self-improvement initiative, Petty says.

One question Petty recommends executives pursuing this process ask their teams: At the end of our time working together, when we’ve been successful and you’ve grown as a professional, what will you say that I did?”

Check out Petty’s full blog posting – “Few Do-Overs in Leadership, Instead, Do-Different” – for his complete recommendations.