I have a saying “Leadership is a process and not an event”. Too often we think that our leadership development is over. Once we’ve completed a course or two, taken a seminar, read a book we are through. We believe that we are done and if we are promoted even better to put our learning aside. This can be a fatal mistake for all of us. As Marshall Goldsmith so wonderfully described in his book “ What got you here, won’t get you there”. So in my opinion we are always emerging leaders.
Are there new leaders? Yes for sure. It is up to us the experienced leaders to mentor and guide them. To set a culture of learning in place. Do you know how many times I’ve heard “we don’t need that development or coaching, it’s for others, not me”.
This is so very sad because we all need development and coaching throughout our careers. We should not stop because we took a class or walked over fire coals once.
There are many skills and abilities that make great leaders; a few of those are they must be authentic, good listeners, manage conflict, build relationships, and provide healthy feedback.
Obviously, the list could be endless, but other desired traits that direct reports want from their boss is that they can be trusted, hold confidence, motivate and inspire, have high levels of integrity, and always keep their “cool”.
Where does our leadership development start? When we are young, we develop habits. Our leadership skills, abilities, and talents are learned from our earliest experiences.
So then when do we start our process of being an Emerging Leader? My belief is right now. Too often we are moved into a new role because we are very good at doing a job or a task. We are promoted because we were good at sales, marketing, finance, accounting, Information technology, Project Management, and the list goes on and on. Most companies have an internal process that gives some great information. Hear what I said again, some great information. That is part of the problem because as people who are so very busy, we think once we’ve read the information it’s learned, and a box is checked off that we are now practicing those skills.
We as a society must change our beliefs and habits around our development as Emerging Leaders. We all must recognize that yes there are newly promoted and first-time leaders, however, we are all emerging all the time.
There are a base set of skills abilities and talents we all need to have in order to operate effectively. These skills are usually not taught to us in school.
12 areas of development that I believe are most important
Self-Awareness– We must look inside at how we “show up” to others. This takes vulnerability. T takes receiving feedback and using assessments like Myers-Briggs, DiSC, Enneagram, Hogan, Strength Finders, TKI, Team Dimensions, EQ (Emotional Intelligence)…
Magic Dust– What are my skills, abilities and talents that make us special
Vision, Mission, Goals, Measures and Behaviors– What is it we are trying to achieve and why. Does it align to our values and actions.
Communication– Do we communicate with all others in a healthy, honoring, respectful manner to everyone no matter who they are, what they look like. Do we honor their Magic Dust and respect them for it?
Clairty– We need a process to get us aligned so that we carry out our vision, mission and goals and execute best practices and processes in our approach.
Accountability– We need to hold ourselves and others accountable to what we agreed. First it is ourselves and then it is others.
Conflict– There will be Conflict. Do we know and understand how we show up so we can handle conflict in a healthy, honoring and respectful manner.
Influence– We all must understand how we are coming across. Are we being too passive? Are we being too aggressive?
Relationships– We all must recognize the importance of internal and external relationships and how they impact our ability to achieve our short and long term goals. It’s the only thing that will be remembered years down the line.
Feedback– This is crucial. Can we be vulnerable enough to receive it? Can anyone come to us and we will listening without judgement to their issue? It doesn’t mean anything needs to be done that is always up to you! Inspiration- How do we inspire others to understand they are Emerging Leaders? How do we help and coach others to be successful. We are all in this together and we all need each others help.
Continueal Leadership Learning– We as Emerging Leaders need to understand and recognize that Leadership Development Never ENDS.
The areas below are from a recent article we posted on Servant Leadership. I believe that when we all approach leadership with learning and applying the 12 areas above we will all be better Servant Leaders. Why because as Emerging Leaders everything begins with us.
1. Servant Leaders display selflessness
- Leadership is about meeting the needs of people
- They go against the age-old protocol of putting profits ahead of people
- They put their followers’ interests ahead of their own
- This leads to an unprecedented competitive advantage
- They give their time, energy, wisdom, and knowledge to others
- They help others grow (which makes the leader better)
2. They create opportunities for people to feel a sense of purpose
- They help others find purpose in their work
- Purpose improves levels of happiness and boosts productivity
- They encourage employees to connect with those they are serving
- Having employees meet the people they are helping is the greatest motivator
- There is a competitive edge when leaders give their people access to customers
3. They serve their employees
- Leadership is about service and making those around you better
- They regularly assess what they are doing to improve the life of an employee
- When will you start as an awesome Emerging Leader and help others join your process.
If you want to improve your Leadership Skills, please send us a message and let’s talk.