I know there is the thinking that great leaders are not created but rather they are born to lead. I am not convinced that leadership is mostly innate. With the proper professional training and coaching, an enthusiastic and determined manager can transform him or herself into a butterfly of a leader. I say this from experience and working with team leaders who began as caterpillars. For all of you seasoned leaders, remember where you were when you began to transform. I am sure you started out in a very different place, perhaps with strong technical capabilities, but weaker leadership skills. You were promoted to a leadership role because you had mastered the responsibilities of your job. You probably had minimal management or leadership training. So what type of training is needed for this transformation?
I would begin with a basic leadership skills training program. These are the areas of critical importance:
- Understand your personality preferences
- Know your values and beliefs
- Learn appropriate communication for leading
- Create your own vision
- Manage change
Understand your personality preferences
Through participating in a Myers-Briggs Type Inventory tool, one can gain great insight into their dominant personality behaviors as well as learn about their blind spots. This knowledge can be very useful in the way an individual leads and how they can better relate to those around them.
Know your values and beliefs
What do you stand for and why? It is essential that a leader spends time evaluating how trust, integrity and openness effects their leadership success. Additionally one needs to know what they are passionate about and what they truly care about.
Learn appropriate communication for leading
Every leader needs to bone up on their assertive communication skills. Being able to state your wants, needs and desires while being respectful of the other person’s point of view is the mark of a great communicator. We sometimes fall into bad communication habits without even realizing it.
Create your own vision
Vision and purpose are a leader’s driving force. Where you want to lead your team and how to get them to follow are definite skills that can be learned. But without the capability to excite others about your dream, vision will never become a reality.
Successful leaders know that the only constant in the work environment is change. Preparing for change has to be done on a constant basis which requires knowing what feelings are associated with change. Understanding the change cycle and learning strategies to deal effectively with change can make or break a leader. Great leaders also know how to encourage others to speak up and embrace change.
So now is the perfect time to develop your leadership techniques. Be ready to make your next move with confidence and competence.