Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Looking to grow your ability to lead? It's a learnable skill
Whether we are in the car and negotiating a “what do you want to eat” discussion with the family. Or in the board room with a group of people trying to deal with complex and competing ideas. There we all are searching for a way forward. Which options do we choose and move towards?
Each of these situations requires varying degrees of leadership but leadership nonetheless...
The truth is, “Leadership” is an inescapable element of daily life.
Why is leadership important?
One of the most respected leaders on the planet today is our friend John Maxwell. He has written a fabulous book titled “Developing the Leader Within You 2.0" He says…..
"Because people are recognising that becoming a better leader changes lives. Everything rises and falls on leadership. The world becomes a better place when people become better leaders. Developing yourself to become the leader you have the potential to be will change everything for you. It will add to your effectiveness, subtract from your weakness, divide your workload, and multiply your impact.” (p.1-2)
So what is leadership?
A good working definition is:
“Leadership is influence, the ability to influence other leaders and followers and lead yourself and them towards a worthy goal." - Steve Kane
Perhaps another way of defining leadership is:
"The ability to take people on a journey to a destination that you want to take them in, and they fully agree to go with you and they know the reason why they are going there" - Alex Sipala
In other words they have clarity of the vision of what you see. The real essence of leadership then becomes focused on how the leader must think, be and act in order to provide the model for others to follow.
Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said,
“When the opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” - John Wooden
“If you start learning about leadership now, not only will you increase your opportunities, but you’ll also make the most of them when they arrive.” (Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 p.3)
For all of us,
"Our performance as a leader is connected to our preparation and prior reflected-on experience.” - Steve Kane
How can I prepare myself in leadership?
Be intentional about what you want to achieve:
Embrace a learning mindset "Leaders are Learners” so work on being a learner not an expert. This guarantee’s your continued growth.
Develop a Leader Growth Plan - What areas am I aware of that I need to grow in? - What areas am I unaware of that I may need to grow in? - Prioritise what areas you will start growing in. - What resources (People, material, financial) will I use? (Podcasts, Coaches/Mentors, Informal/formal learning) - When will I begin? - Schedule consistent time.
Apply, Change, Tell - What will I and how can I apply what I have learned? - What am I currently doing that I might need to change? - Who can I tell that would benefit from what I have learned? (This helps you to remember your learning)
Work on consistently "Narrowing the gap between what you know and what you do."
Since leadership is an inescapable element of everyday life, choose to enjoy the leadership journey. Be assured that leadership is a learnable skill and the sooner you start intentionally learning the sooner you will begin leading more proficiently.