Every year, there is another list of leadership skills one must have in order to be successful. Executive presence. Change leadership. Technological savvy. Strategic insight. Public speaking. Collaborative style. Charisma. Team Building….and on and on it goes. Strikingly, some of the latest research indicates that introverts have the edge on extroverts in leadership. What are we to believe, and how do we approach creating a roadmap that has us collecting the right skills for our career arc.
Let’s start at the very beginning.
- What is your Definition of Success? Who are you? What are your values? Where are you going? What impact do you want to leave and why? Once you have a handle on this, craft your Personal Mission Statement. This will create the touch point for you to assess whether or not you are leading your life as a whole in synch with your aspirations. If you are unable to lead your own life well first, the likelihood of your leadership of others being perceived as authentic, and therefore someone who should be followed, will be lessened.
- What’s your Intended Scope? Do you want to be a deep dive specialist in an area or a generalist? Do you prefer being a key team leader or a senior management leader? The skill sets are different. The expectations are different. The commitments are different, and therefore the necessary leadership development path must be different.
- What Culture, Competency, & Chemistry suits you best? Do you know the culture that you thrive in, the competencies that are required and at which you excel, and how to leverage both into a chemistry that allows your leadership to be at its peak level consistently? Ascertaining this will allow you to know what credentials to achieve, what leadership skills to develop, and how to integrate these components into a successful formula for you…and most importantly, where to work to succeed as a leader.
- Who are your Champions? Have you built your network of support, especially those who will share with you where you have gaps that do not serve you well? Create your Career Board of Advisors, not just for counsel, but those whom you wish to observe closely in their success. Identify what behaviors and skills you wish to acquire from observing them and most especially learn about their failures and avoid vicarious learning.
- How adept are you at utilizing a variety of Leadership Styles appropriate to the circumstances and the people with which you are engaging? Do you know what your choices are and which to use when? Have you practiced a variety of styles? Which suit you best and which are less natural for you?
Before you sign up for your leadership development classes for the year, take some time to ascertain what you do and don’t know about yourself, where you would like the trajectory of your career to go, how others see your current leadership capacity, the level of your competency in adjusting your leadership style, and ultimately, the work environment in which you can be most successful. Add into this an honest assessment of where you are on the Journey of 15’s to determine what you are realistically able to undertake.
Start building your Leadership Development Playbook to set up your career arc for new heights.