Occupying a leadership position is not the same thing as leading. To lead, you must be able to connect, motivate, and inspire a sense of ownership of shared objectives. Heightening your capacity to lead others requires being able to see how you think and act, and how your behavior affects others.
Leading well requires a continuous journey of personal development.
You probably have things you’d like to get better at, but perhaps, like many people, you struggle to find the discipline. The good news is that you can change your behavior by taking a methodical approach.
Start with a problem you’d like to solve or a future result you’d like to achieve, and articulate why it’s important to you. Knowing what your purpose is in taking on this challenge will help you sustain your motivation.
Next, identify measures of success. What does achieving your goal look like? How will you know if you’re making progress? Ground yourself with an intention and make a commitment. You might place a sticky note with your intention on your computer where you’ll see it first thing each morning.
Then choose new behaviors to implement that will help you achieve your goal, and seek feedback as you practice them. Tell your manager, team members, or a trusted colleague what you’re working on and that you need their input to help you get better.
And don’t forget, as you make progress, to celebrate your successes.
Tools can be handy aids to good leadership. But none of them can take the place of fearless introspection, feedback seeking, and committed efforts to behavioral change for greater effectiveness and increased positive impact on others.
It’s one thing to want to hold a leadership role; it’s another to want to do the deep work that learning to lead entails. Resisting the developmental journey of leadership is like flying to an exciting locale, but then spending your whole time there in the airport bar.
On the other hand, interest in and commitment to continuous learning and development as a leader will keep you fresh and vital. There’s a valley to cross before you reach the peak. And there’s another valley between that peak and the next one.
Make a Plan to Reach Your Personal Goals
The developmental journey is fascinating and fulfilling if you embrace it. You don’t have to wait to be trained; you can design leadership development practices any time you want.
Are you interested in personal and/or leadership coaching, view our offerings or book a (free) introductory session to align/ finetune our mutual expectations.
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This tip is inspired by an article by Monique Valcour