As I start this new season of leadership, I have a strong desire to do this job well. I recognise that my current leadership skills have limitations and will need to grow extensively. Perhaps you can relate to my sense of not even knowing what I don't know yet. There are some elements that are easy for me to identify, like conflict resolution. Other areas I have glimpses of but cannot define as yet. How do you know what to work on if you can't even figure out what you need to learn?
I am far from having all the answers for this right now. I realised that I can only start with what I know and have open eyes and ears to learn as I go. Starting from a point of getting to know yourself and how you operate seems to be a logical place to start. That is what I have been doing- exploring my personality, strengths and weaknesses through assessments, reading and listening to podcasts. I have learned so much about myself. If you are like me and feeling overwhelmed with all that you have to learn, start with yourself.
Learning more about yourself is only a starting point. We can only go so far on our own. Others are often able to see things that we can't. I am working up the courage to ask those close to me to speak into my leadership skills. I want to foster a culture where those I have influence over can come to me with areas they feel need improvement. This requires wisdom and discernment on my part to see truth in what is spoken and deal with unrealistic expectations and the tendency in me to people-please. I have also started with a mentor to have another set of wise eyes looking at my life.
We are blessed to live in a society that has ample access to resources. I am attending leadership conferences, reading books, listening to podcasts and spending time reflecting on that learning. This is in my nature. I process deeply and slowly. Spending time learning about the multitude of general skills in leadership will hopefully help to highlight specific areas I need to focus on. My challenge is to give time to this in the midst of the day to day work and the pull of distraction.
Leadership can only be done well with a mindset of life-long learning. We must grow and develop our skills as we go. I am in a position where I have head knowledge about many leadership skills. The application of that knowledge in the real world of your role is the key. I am up for the challenge. Are you?
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