Don’t Wait Around For Someone Else To Tell You How To Develop Yourself As A Leader
Back in April I shared the importance of self-awareness and self-understanding in developing one’s leadership mindset in a blog post about Knowing Your Leadership Mindset Is Part Of Being A Great Leader.
These two qualities (self-awareness and self-understanding) are equally important when it comes to your own self-development. For, as philosopher Baltasar Gracián wrote, “Self-correction begins with self-knowledge.”
Learning to lead yourself, and your own professional development, reveals your values, non-negotiables, principles, and interests. This gives you direction and boundaries that will help keep you on course.
It also keeps you from leading people and teams to places you do not want to go or with methods you truly do not want to use.
Constantly thinking about and exploring the foundation of your leadership philosophy and mindset is also a core component of your on-going leadership development journey.
Think about it. Integrity, communicating, coaching, listening, providing feedback, delegation, influencing, motivating, and decision making may be called “soft skills,” but they are the very skills you need to develop and grow as a leader. You don’t want your team members to have only the same skills in three years as they do now. For the same reasons, you cannot afford to have only the same skills, capabilities, and competencies three years from now as you do today.
Additionally, as a leader you are in charge of your own self-development. You cannot afford to wait around for your talent development department or your human resources folks, or even your own manager, to create leadership development opportunities for you. When this does happen, take full advantage of such opportunities. But do not wait for such occasions to arise.
No leader should wait around for their manager to tell them how to develop as a leader. As April Arnzen, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Micron Technology, tells her leaders throughout this Fortune 500 organization, “Don’t ever wait around for someone else to tell you how to develop yourself.”
That’s sage advice for leaders at any level of any organization.
This article is excerpted from my book Great Leadership Words of Wisdom, which is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats and has over 1000 quotes on leadership from global business leaders, statesmen, athletes, coaches, sages, and philosophers.