One of the greatest opportunities we overlook in developing our leadership skills tool box, is locating a role model to follow. Why is this important? For one thing, we learn by example and finding an exemplary leader can provide us with incredible behaviors and attitudes to emulate. But here are a few more reasons why connecting with a leadership mentor can help us evolve into an influential leader.
- Listening To Another Leader’s Point of View: In our busy professional lives we rarely take the time to evaluate our choices and decisions. When was the last time you stepped back and actually asked yourself: “Am I focusing on the right stuff?’ “Am I moving in a counter productive direction?” Set up a coffee or lunch meeting to run by some of your challenges and see what another leader has to offer. That other leader might actually validate your direction and implementation. If not, the feedback might point you in a much more beneficial place and help you move forward more effectively. Another idea is to create a “group of leaders”, like a professional council with whom you could meet periodically. Choose different types of leaders with various talents and knowledge.
- Learning About New Leadership Skills: We each bring strengths to our leadership positions but we can learn from each other’s outstanding abilities. Some people possess strong communication skills on a one-to-one but are not as effective in presenting in front of a group. The first step is recognizing your need to become a more powerful presenter and then being open to learn new ways to speak in front of others. Contact a leader who excels in delivering presentations, one who can truly motivate the audience. Ask if you can watch them in their next program and then sit down with them about ways you could integrate some of their techniques. Leaders enjoy sharing and helping other leaders.
- Growing Your Leadership Network: When you discover the leader you want to follow, you are beginning the process of expanding your professional network. When we work with new people or connect with others in a deeper way, we learn about areas we might not have thought to pursue. I recently experienced this when meeting with a leader. He suggested I attend an executive breakfast with other leaders. I ended up meeting individuals from many different organizations and gained so much knowledge and information. I even added some new people to my linkedin network. Social media is also a wonderful way to meet leaders to follow. If you choose wisely, you can create a community of sharing wisdom and experiences. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Are you ready to learn from another leader to enrich your leadership dreams and goals? Find a leader to follow now!