Our Stategic Business Partner, PeopleTek, has a deep interest in leadership tools and in communicating the importance of having a focus and direction when it comes to leadership development — initiating and sustaining it! This QwikTip continues to explore this topic and provides additional insights.
Let’s begin with this question: How can you best focus your efforts in leadership development?
Understanding the old adage — if you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else — is the perfect start.
Good development journeys, like all journeys, need guidance and direction. The first step is self-reflection and taking time to carefully think through the question of “where you are going.” Ask yourself these questions
- Where are you going? What’s your mission, vision and what are your goals?
- How do you plan to get there and what innovation, strategy, planning needs to happen to get there?
- How can others — bosses, staff, friends, colleagues — help you and support you?
- What are the barriers to your success? Think in terms of your own limitations, tendency to overuse certain strengths, and your personal weaknesses rather than focusing on (blaming) external factors.
Once set, you can turn to your own development, focusing carefully on various skills and abilities you most need to proceed on your own specific journey of leadership and personal development.
PeopleTek’s Compass is a great way to organize your thinking around what areas need work. Let’s take a look:
C – Clarity and Communication
Do you most need to improve how you share information with or get information from others?
O – Optimize Differences
Do you struggle to both understand and utilize diversity in your workplace? Do you under or over use individuals and groups because of your own comfort level? Can you reach out and build a broader, more diverse circle of colleagues?
M – Manage Change
Are you frightened by change, or are you so in love with constant change that you miss how others might be struggling through change cycles? Do you know how to keep a calm and steady pace while the business is rushing forward?
P – Plan, Persist, Organize
Are you swept away by the moment and often “off plan” because you struggle to set up a plan and sick with it? On the other hand, do you not know when to change your plans or adapt them?
A – Appropriately Handle Conflict
Do you duck important issues because you can’t deal appropriately with conflict which is part of any workplace? Do you find yourself alternating between being overly “nice” and ignoring real concerns people have? Are you “tuned in” to issues others have so you can handle them in a timely way?
S – Sustain and Enhance Relationships
Do you have to scramble to know who people are and how best to deal with them because you give little or no time to building relationships that help you navigate the work landscape? Do you find getting to know and understand people boring? Do you just “discard” people if they are not involved in exactly what you are doing at the moment?
S – Skillfully Influence Others
Do you know how to influence or do you rely on talking others to death with too many facts, or just assuming everyone agrees with you? Do you realize and make use of the differences in people to help you become more influential? Do you have “one act” and stick to it no matter what the situation?
Get your compass ready. Start with direction based on self- knowledge — then improve your chances of getting to your own “right place” by selectively and appropriately using your compass to guide you to where your development is most needed.
- Here’s a suggestion that’s a bit counter-intuitive but it might be just the book that gets your Journey kick-started and moving in the “right” direction!
- How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life
- Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do.
- In this 2006 video from TED, Tony Robbins helps you to improve your understanding of what motivates you and others. The “history” and references provided will also educate and remind you just how much has happened since 2006.