Leaders in demanding roles get little or no time to develop their own leadership Capability. They focus on getting the job done and developing their own people. Their own leadership growth often goes by the wayside. This is one case where leaders eating last does do not serve the greater good, my apologies Simon Sinek.
When your leadership gets stale, so do results and the teams and leaders working with you. Everything becomes an effort and leadership feels like its sucking your will to live, rather than energising you and lifting up your people.
The fall out of neglecting your own leadership development is you only have the same old skills. Its the same old experiences and advice to hand down to your leaders and teams. It becomes a bit like leadership beans on toast every night. After a while, the skills you have are not enough to deal with the complexity and challenges you face. Your messaging is experienced as bland and your followers begin to feel that you have nothing new to offer or inspire them with. Preaching career development to them also invites hypocrisy which further diminishes your own leadership standing.
Here are a few practical ideas to assist you in developing some new thinking and raise the energy to revive your leadership
- Set aside time to think about your leadership. Making time to think about what changes you need and want to make is crucial. You may need to improve your ability to delegate work to be able to create this space to think. Remember thinking is working!
- Ask for feedback from your direct leader, your direct reports and other leaders in the business. What areas do they see you need to develop further in? What is it they most notice about your leadership? Feedback is the fertile soil that great leadership grows in. Without feedback we cannot grow and develop, because feedback can be confronting if you are unfamiliar with getting feedback. Think about working with a coach to navigate this journey.
- Discuss taking on new leadership challenges. Take on leading a new team or project. Seek out secondment opportunities to take you outside of your comfort zone. If you are beginning to feel the slight discomfort of being outside of your familiar way of leading you are probably beginning to grow, this discomfort is good discomfort, lean in too it.
- Read some latest thinking in leadership development you would not usually read, because we tend to stick to what is familiar and comfortable. Read something you disagree with.
- Develop your ability to reflect on your own leadership experiences. Consider reflective journaling as a way to develop greater insights. Learn to become comfortable with the ambiguity that leading creates.
- Find and join a leadership community of practice. Build your own leadership network.
- Undertake some coach training to become a coaching leader. This was you can more effectively develop the potential of your own people.
- Find yourself a qualified and experienced coach and begin a conversation to develop your leadership capability.
What to do next
Don’t let your leadership get stale. Yes, it takes some time and some sweat and perhaps the odd tear or two. You will reap the reward of the effort you put in. Make your own leadership an example that others look too and admire. Its the choice between being a master chef and creating leadership that others delight in, or being an average cook and serving up beans on toast, that just gets you by. It’s up to you!
Talk with us today about how you can build your leadership capability.