As we begin to shift our focus to Leadership Development, I’ve been thinking…we’re getting ready to embark on a pretty cool journey. And just like with any other trip you take, you have to prepare. So, I thought I would share some things that I have found helpful on my Leadership journey. Hope you find them helpful too.
You don’t know what you don’t know. I have heard this one a lot throughout my career. While it may sound extremely weird, it’s actually a very true statement. All it says (in a rather complicated manner) is while there may be a lot that you do know, there is and will be a lot that you don’t know. When I think of the times that I was smart enough to fully embrace this statement, I realize that those were the times that I walked away from a project or experience really having gained something that made me a better leader.
Resist the urge to be right. You will find, as you work on your development; it’s not going to be about having the right answer all the time (refer to my first point). It’s going to be about having the right attitude and being open. Being open to a better way of doing something. Being open to a different point of view. Being open to recognizing when our drive to always be right is getting in the way and preventing us from taking away key learnings that may help us to transform the success of a project, a relationship or maybe even our career!
Resist the urge to be in control. If there is one thing that I have learned on my leadership journey, it would be that control is not always our friend. See, when I was just starting out, I would confuse being in control with demonstrating leadership (and that was a disaster!). If you have not heard, please let me be the first to tell you… they are not one and the same! Control stifles creativity and can breed contempt. Leadership encourages creativity and gives people permission to take ownership of their role. And when leadership happens people get inspired and come up with ideas that are fresh and more innovative than anything you could have ever come up with by yourself.
Be curious. This one is simple…..ask questions. Take a genuine interest in what’s going on around you. We are all very good at what we do and there are things that we are so good at, we do them without even thinking about it. Maintain a curiosity about your work and the work that others around you re doing. You will undoubtedly learn something.
Bottom line, leadership development is going to take us all to places that we’ve never been before, but hey…, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. What advice can you share to help us prepare for our developmental journey?