What type of leader do you want to be?
People often fall into a leadership role – they get promoted, or they move companies and are given responsibility for a team. The skills needed to be an effective leader are often picked up on the job, and it can be difficult to step back and think about what makes a good leader and what leadership skills you want to develop.
A key question to ask yourself is ‘what type of leader do you want to be?’ We all have examples of good and bad leadership but by understanding what traits you want to develop you can be more aware of how you come across, what you need to work on and what you are good at already. The key, though, is to be authentic.
When looking at leadership you should ask yourself three questions:
- How do you want to act?
- How do you want to make people feel?
- What do you want your team and/or colleagues to say about you?
Then look at the answers to your questions in relation to your Personal Leadership Brand – what are your colleagues saying about you and does it match what you want them to say? This can provide you with the opportunity to develop the right skills – if you are not seen in a certain light find out why not. This will help you to find your skills gap between your ideal leadership style with your actual leadership style.
Your Personal Leadership Brand helps you to control how others see you. It is outward focused and communicates the value you offer – and it varies from role to role. When looking at this you need to start by finding out what is expected of you in a role and then looking at the traits you need to develop to be as successful as possible in that role.
Now, think of three ‘power’ words or phrases you would like people to use about you. The words could be simple – such as ‘inspiring’ or ‘motivational’; or a phrase – such as ‘force of nature’. What skills do you need to develop in order to ensure reality matches your expectation?
The final phase is to put this in to action. For each power word come up with one action you can take this month to embody it. Look at what your development needs are – do you need to develop your technical skills, network, self-awareness? What steps can you take next week to move you forward? Remember, leadership skills are constantly evolving and by putting in small steps or milestones you will be able to get to where you want to go.