As a C-suite executive who has managed people and led teams for 35 years, I thought I knew a thing or two about leadership. I’ve learned from great bosses and mentors, and I’ve read my share of leadership books.
My teams have always performed well, but my leadership style became hard-wired over time. I knew how to leverage my strengths; however, I neglected to focus equally on avoiding bad habits and blind spots. I had leadership autopilot syndrome.
As leaders, we acutely focus on the development of critical competencies such as technical skill and business acumen. But are we equally committed to developing leadership skills?
If so, then what is the secret sauce for leadership excellence?
We have a lot to learn from professional athletes, musicians and actors about the critical importance of practice. Consider a golfer watching footage of their swing, again and again, to break down each movement or a pianist repeatedly practicing short, specific sections of their repertoire. Both are continually analyzing and making small refinements to improve their performance. Note also the cyclical nature of their processes: Practice, Analyze, Adjust and Repeat.
Similarly, leadership skills are developed and improved over time through focused dedication and practice. Here are a few useful techniques to help you become a stronger, more effective leader:
In conclusion, make a personal commitment to enhance your leadership development by involving your team, seeking input, utilizing tools and sharing experiences. Ensure your talent assessments, recruitment efforts and reward programs focus on driving strong leadership behaviors. Practice daily, and you, too, can build leadership muscle memory!
For assistance in developing an individualized plan for leadership growth and organizational excellence, contact us at [email protected]