3 Steps to Developing as a Leader
There is no role more important to a company as a leader. Great Leadership, or lack off, can really make or break an organisation, so it’s important to understand how you can really focus in on developing yourself as a leader. One of the main realisations of being a leader is that you are never finished learning, and no one is going to do it for you! So here it is, 3 simple steps you can take to ensure you are constantly pushing yourself to be a better leader.
Nurture Your Talents
Note. I did not say weaknesses.
Although it’s important to be aware of your weaknesses, and can address any large flaws in your character, it isn’t necessarily important to them your number one goal to improve. You see, one of the things about great leaders, is their ability to notice and be aware of other strengths, and use them. The important thing to remember is that without a team, there is no leader! Now I am not saying you must be a manager to be a leader, but what I am saying is that you need a team around you! And the beautiful thing about a team is their ability to work together towards a goal. This is the key to great leadership, identify your team’s strong points, especially those that cover your weaknesses, and focus on developing your own strengths! Your unique talent is most likely the weakness of other members of your team, so do your best to make it your number one priority to constantly nurture your talents, to bring the best part of you to the team, and utilise, encourage, and empower those around you with the ability to focus on improving their unique strengths. The stronger the varied strengths in a team, the stronger the team.
I would also include in this the importance of finding yourself a mentor if you don’t already. The benefit of gleaning from someone with far more experience and wisdom is priceless! I can’t emphasise more the benefit of a mentor relationship. To read more about what a mentoring relationship should look like, read this blog.
Create a Personal Development Plan
Simple. It doesn’t need to be that complicated, in fact, click here to download the exact template I use for the marketing team at 3EN. Having a review of your own strengths and weaknesses, and a clear plan towards achieving your objectives is essential. Without this, you are flying blind! Nothing can succeed without planning, and the same goes for your own personal development. You will see in the template I provided above, it basically covers the following;
- Personal Analysis Section (SWOT)
- Goal Setting
- Personal Objectives
From this point, I construct a road map, and detail over the next 6-12 months the steps and achievements I need to gain to get myself to my goal. I would encourage you to review this monthly, and be flexible. Don’t just stick to a goal because it’s the right thing to do, make sure its relevant and applicable, and if you need to make changes, do it!
Your PDP, alongside a well-constructed road map, is the basis for your own personal development. This should set the direction for where you want to be!
Follow Through on Development Plans
The number one problem with PDP’s. No follow through. I have done it myself before, let’s not deny it, we all probably have. There is no problem with making changes, even drastic ones at that, but there is a problem with not knowing where you are going and why! This may seem like the simplest of steps in this entire article, but it’s the lynch pin. Without follow through, the entirety of Professional growth is pointless. Set yourself side objectives for your PDP. Personally, I make a point to review monthly, set my PDP goals in a monthly manner, and make any changes that I need to. This way I can track progress, set new goals, and set my main priorities for the month ahead! Nothing is better than knowing where you are going, and being able to strike those goals off your list as you progress through your plan!! The best thing for ensuring follow through is creating accountability. So, for me, I make my team aware of the goals I have set each month, and ensure they hold me accountable, and I do the same for them. Not only does this create accountability, but breeds transparency, and lets my team know which parts of me I am aware off that need work, and the journey I am on! You can also use your mentor, or another individual within your team, organisation, or network that you trust to share your plans, goals, and hold you accountable.
There you have it, it may be simple, but it’s effective. This is the exact method I use myself to constantly drive towards bettering myself. Mirroring the introduction, this is one of the most important steps in leadership. Being the best you, is the best way to creating the best team!
So here is what you don’t do;
Don’t make weaknesses your primary focus – Your strengths are priority number 1 when it comes to development. Improving your weaknesses can come in at a later stage!
Don’t “wing it” – The age-old quote “If you fail to plan, your planning to fail” is the essence here!
- Don’t de-prioritise personal growth – I know life can be busy, but make the time to follow through on your plans, it’s more important than ever for organisations to have true leaders!
- Nurture Your Talents
- Plan your success
- Never give up
Start today, don’t procrastinate, make some changes, and embrace the process!