An article in HuffPost summed things up perfectly – “leadership is freakin’ hard”. Author and leadership consultant Bill Treasurer suggested that the biggest problem is you, because good leaders nearly always start out as bad leaders.
In previous blogposts, we’ve reflected on the attributes that differentiate high-performing leaders. Those certain behavioural traits that have proven critical to leadership performance, for example the ability to decide with speed and conviction or holding everyone accountable, while being authentic.
But back to Bill’s theory on leadership. Becoming more effective by first becoming less ineffective requires acknowledgement that maybe things are not going as well as expected. That doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have the skills or ability to be a good leader, simply that, over time those critical competencies may change, depending on the role or environment.
There isn’t a one size fits all approach to leadership development, it needs to be customised to the individual and their current (and future) role. At different points in your career, you will need to focus on different skills.
So, what should you consider when creating your own leadership development programme?
Start by looking at your current role and identifying what specific leadership skills and behaviours are needed to successfully execute your company’s strategy. And then assess your existing knowledge and skill in this space.
This provides a starting point for your development – where you fall short is generally where you need to start developing.
This isn’t something you need to tackle on your own. Your current employer will certainly encourage you to develop your skills and likely provide assistance to help make it happen. An organisation that invests in the professional development of their people, is creating the right environment for future success.
As part of your development plan, it’s important to regularly check in on your progress. Are you growing as a leader and is that next position in your sight?
If you begin with the presumption that leadership is hard, then focussing on your own development is a given.
If you are looking for direction and assistance on preparing and implementing a tailored professional development plan, get in touch with us. We’d love to chat.
The Decipher Team
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