Leaders are in charge of their direct reports’ development, but who is in charge of being the leader to develop the leaders? Most of the time, it’s the leader, manager, or head of department themselves.
Scary thought, right? We say it all the time—we want to be in charge of our own development, but when we have the opportunity, we are hesitant and don’t really know what direction to push ourselves in.
We see this happen to leaders all the time when they think they’ve reached “the top.” People assume that they’ve done all that they need to do to get to the top and the final product needs no more work, effort, or skill advancement. It’s takes constant awareness of your skills and honest, continual hard work to continue in your personal and professional growth.
Let’s put ourselves in the driver’s seat and find our what we really need to know to develop ourselves as better leaders:
- Bring on the feedback. Other’s opinions matter because people can 1.) tell you strengths/weaknesses which you do not see in yourself and 2.) they bring a small ounce of accountability when telling you things you can improve.
- Decipher what really matters. Books, articles, and even conferences can’t tell you the exact answer on what really matters to becoming a great leader. You have to find a great leader—a prime example that showcases how to live it out. Mentors, leaders at your company, and even personal friendships are great examples to sit down and talk to about your growth and development.
- Set up your own training. You can’t count on other’s to offer you training, and even if they do, it’s probably something you don’t want to go to. Finding your own training will insure that you love it, it’s worth it, and it fits your specific needs. Own it and make it happen for yourself! You won’t regret the extra knowledge and skills.
It’s challenging when development falls into your hands for your team and yourself—but you have the power to help your people, and self, flourish at what you do. Don’t let your development pass you by—you never know what amazing opportunities and people will cross your path on the same journey.