Daily Developing Self-Leadership – Your Stepping Stone to a Leadership Career
There’s nothing like hands on experience to make your leadership skills grow. But how do you gain that experience when you don’t have a leadership position yet? The key is to make developing self-leadership a daily priority. This will quickly develop your self-confidence and create a reputation for being someone who reliably makes beneficial decisions, has good communication skills, and works well with and can effectively influence others.
Whether it’s in the family or in the corporate board room, it’s not enough for a leader to stand before a group to tell them what to do or how they should be. The most effective leaders stand with their team and model the behavior, attitudes and speech they expect from others. I like how M. D. Arnold pus it, “A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them.”
While I encourage people to take training for leadership skills, some say they can’t afford the cost. I’m happy to say there are many things you can do right now that won’t cost you any money. It’s on-the-job-training at home, as it were.
To get a good start on developing self-leadership, I encourage you to practice these three areas first:
- Decision Making. Concentrate on making intentional decisions. This is difficult for many people. It’s easy to make a decision based on emotion; it takes more effort and thought to make a decision based on all of the facts, because it takes time to gather those facts.
How to do it: In all aspects of life, cultivate mindfulness around how your emotions are forming your decisions and then develop self-leadership skills such as: the ability to mindfully pause, step back, identify how your emotions show up in body sensations and why they exist, and then think about the consequences from ALL points of view, before making a decision. The more you practice these skills, the easier decision making can become in both your personal and professional life.
- Diverse Community. We tend to associate with people like us, because this makes us feel comfortable. But in business, you’ll come in contact with a diverse group of people, many of whom you will not feel a personal affinity. Leaders need to know how to interact with people professionally, not letting personal feelings cloud the issue at hand.
How to do it: To become more comfortable with diversity, seek it out in your personal life right now. Spend time with people from varied backgrounds and life experiences. Join a local community group that will expand your thinking and your comfort zone.
- Communication – especially listening. We’ve all done it — tuning out someone, letting our eyes roam the room for something more interesting. But this is the time to intentionally test your communication skills! If you can get involved in this conversation, maintain eye contact, and truly understand and find something interesting in what they’re saying, you’ll know how to develop a rapport with anyone.
How to do it: This self-leadership skill can be honed at home. Put down the phone or dish sponge, make eye contact and give your full attention to your family member trying to talk with you. Feel what they are feeling. You’ll be surprised at how much this improves your relationships with others. And this skill will become part of who you are, in the process.
You’ll make the fastest advancement when you actively look for ways to daily practice developing self-leadership skills at home and in a local setting. Find a cause you care about and get involved. When a leadership opportunity arises, don’t hold back, volunteer and give it your all. You’ll gain invaluable experience that will boost your self-confidence and leadership skills. And, in the process, you’ll be developing your reputation as a great leader.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and begin leadership training, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). We’ll determine the best option for you.