Developing your leaders is critical for the success of your company. But using just any leadership development training that’s out there won’t cut it.
In order for your team to maximize its potential and thrive, you need a customized leadership training experience tailored specifically to meet the needs of you and your team, designed for today, in your current reality, with your current “headwinds” and opportunities.
At EngagedLeadership, we focus on the two foundational elements of leadership maturity that make all the difference as you gain insight into the kind of leader you are and how you can continue to grow and scale your impacts:
1. Self-awareness is vital to the maturity of a leader.
We can’t positively impact others if we aren’t keenly aware of our own patterns of thinking and how we choose to interact with the world around us. It is too easy to believe that our systems and patterns of operating are the norm. Even though we cognitively know that isn’t the case, once the day-to-day of interacting and working comes alive, this realization typically fades into the background; especially when we are confronted with others who think and prioritize and “do” differently.
The truth is, everyone’s “reality” is significantly different enough from those around them to regularly cause “friction”. Building self-awareness and the ability to see your impact on others is like a torch light in the darkness when it comes to successfully navigating relationships, at work and elsewhere.
The work of becoming self-aware helps reduce misunderstandings and misperceptions that ultimately chip away at trust and partnership.
A deeper self-awareness enables you to more quickly anticipate and then resolve conflict and misunderstanding in your workplace. When team members are able to work through their own misperceptions and disagreements openly, in a skillful way, trust is deepened more quickly and indeed deeply, than if they simply resolved the tension of the situation only within themselves and moved on. The ability to skillfully self-assess and then communicate effectively with other team members provides a rich opportunity to demonstrate mutual respect and a desire to work well towards common goals.
You can begin the work of self-reflection today by asking yourself questions like:
- What patterns of thinking and assumptions do I regularly fall into that create challenges for those who work with me? A common example is when people don’t take the time to reflect and actually communicate an assumption of good intent regarding others.
- What is the single most important step I could take to engage with others more effectively?
- How could I more effectively share my concerns and assumptions in conversations with others?
- How could I show my intention to more deeply understand other’s points of view?
2. Letting go and shifting gears enables leaders to excel in their leadership roles.
One of the biggest challenges that company leaders face is the fact that they did not receive any significant leadership training before they transitioned into their current role. As we quickly come to realize, “doing the work” (being a customer service representative or salesperson as an example) requires a very different set of skills and ways of thinking than being an effective and engaging leader.
One of the biggest differences between an individual contributor role and a leadership/executive role is delegation. A huge measure of trust (on both sides of this interaction) is required in order to delegate responsibilities effectively. One of the worst things a leader can do is delegate a task to someone else, only to breathe down their neck the entire time the team member is trying to do their job they’ve been asked to do! Being a leader requires that you truly let go, set clear expectations, clear points for follow-up and coaching and then let your team do their jobs.
It’s easy to talk about delegation and expert leadership, but real-world implementation of these skills requires a mature perspective about developing others and stretching oneself in order to scale a group’s impact on the business.
Leaders are accountable for their entire team's daily responsibilities and their team’s success – not to mention their own personal to-do list and goals. This is a significant amount of responsibility for one person to shoulder, and that’s why leadership development and coaching is so important.
Rather than feeling constantly drained, worried, and convinced that simply putting their nose to the grindstone and pushing harder personally will be sufficient to get the job done; mature leaders are focused not only on getting the immediate job done but also actively developing their team members to grow professionally and be able to take on larger more impactful roles. Again, this is an easy notion to intellectualize but the actual implementation around this too often disappears in the day-to-day. The most skilled and mature leaders recognize when they and their teams are overwhelmed, causing a decline in success and an increase of friction in the workplace.
If you’re ready to try a different path rather than simply striving harder and start leading as a more balanced and more strategic leader, take our Leadership Maturity Assessment quiz today!