Why are you a leader? Did you seek the position? Was it thrust on you? Is it an expectation? Whatever the reason, understand that few people are born leaders. Most people develop leadership skill one step at a time.
As you work at developing your leadership skill, these five simple processes can speed you to your goal. Soon you will feel confident in your leadership role. You will know how to motivate, communicate, build teams, and help them focus on and achieve their goals.
- Desire. Start with your desire. While you may have come into leadership through a variety of means, if you want to succeed, you need to passionately want to do a great job of leading people. If you have this key ingredient, you can master all the rest. Because desire is linked to commitment and success.
Commit. Commit yourself to a course of action. To be a great leader, you must gain the skills that make people want to follow you. Winston Churchill said that leadership is getting people to do what you want because THEY want to.
So commit to taking the time to learn and train. Be willing to make life changes and skill changes that will make you that kind of leader.
Assess. Take stock of who you are right now. What qualities do you have right now that are leadership qualities? Are you excellent with communication… or do you sometimes have work undone or done wrong because your directions or expectations were unclear?
Are people enthusiastic or reluctant to follow your direction? Can you get your co-workers to agree with you and can you build consensus? Make a list of leadership skills you have and of those you want to develop.
- Learn. Once you know where you want to improve, start learning your new skills one at a time. If you try to learn them all at once you will be fractured and overwhelmed. Don’t rush it. Take time to observe others and how they do it.
But don’t try to clone them. You have your own unique strengths and talents you bring to the equation. Learn your personality type and how it helps you become a leader that feels natural to you.
You may find books, coaches, and articles useful in learning each leadership skill.
Apply. Create a “Skill of the Week Club” for yourself and for one week focus on developing that particular leadership skill. Post a note with the skill in a prominent place. Read about that skill each morning before you begin the day. Evaluate your progress each evening. Journal your efforts.
Be kind to yourself. Understand that mistakes are a learning opportunity, too. Analyze the error and find ways to fix it and do better next time. Record your thoughts.
Your goal is to see improvement through the week. By the end of the week you should be doing a better job of using the skill than you did at the beginning of the week.
When you take it step-by-step you’ll see how easy it is to change. Soon you will find that developing leadership skill comes almost naturally. The process becomes part of your work week and the skills become part of who you are.
Are you the leader you want to be? To assess the leadership skills you already have and to determine how you can develop greater leadership qualities, contact Joel.
Copyright ©2005-2017 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved.
Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world's leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Visit Joel online at Garfinkle Executive Coaching. Subscribe to his Fulfillment@Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, 40 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!
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