Leadership is the ability to consistently and positively influence and inspire people towards the direction of a shared vision. Harnessing the passion of people and bringing people together creates wins for the individuals, team, leader, and organization. The way in which leadership is conducted makes a great difference to one’s team.
Many people know about and have even taken leadership skills training. That is different than building the courage to actually apply those skills. Then, there is the intention with which the skills are applied and the purpose for which they are applied – to work towards values alignment, engagement, productivity and, ultimately, achieve the vision and results. There are the skills, the courage to implement them, the intention with which and purpose for which the skills are used, and the values and vision of the leader that come into play.
Many will take leadership development or training programs. It takes many next steps to actually successfully apply the skills learned. Here are some of the basics:
- Understand the skills, the purpose of those skills, and how to apply them.
- Keep consistent focus and make consistent effort in trying and experimenting with the new skills
- Find a accountability partner to support your with implementation, learning, and experimentation
- Have a way of reflecting on your experience to learn from it
- Come with the belief that implementing these skills is worthwhile, that they create a return on investment towards your vision
We can learn skills in the setting of a training. We can learn skills randomly through trial and error. Alternatively, we can learn the skill set and have ongoing support to implement them. Implementing many ‘soft’ skills takes much courage. They seem like common sense but not many apply them in a way that serves their intended purpose – to harness the passion of people and bring people together to create success for all involved and the organization.
There is another aspect which I will call intention. The intention with which you use the skills matters. If you use them because your think you should, it will feel like a push and an exercise in frustration. If you come in with the attitude that they will make a difference for you and for others, and that your proficiency with them will take time to develop, it will feel like more of a pull and a journey of exploration. Who you are being in applying the skills makes a big difference.
Clear Vision and Values
When people know their leader’s vision and values, they understand context and can choose how they will align. It can work even better if people are involved in establishing the vision and go through values and values alignment exercises. Leaders model the way in sharing an inspiring vision, being clear on their values and expectations, and support others to find values alignment.
It is no wonder that coaching helps people in developing their leadership skills. A leadership coach can help you with all of the above. Many clients that have been in leadership for years are surprised at what a difference perspective, context, and approach from coaching makes to their leadership practice.
Wishing you much learning and growth,