Building Strong Leadership Skills
by Michael T. Bauer, MSW
Developing the leadership skills to be successful at work
and in life takes time and lots of effort. Our lives are so busy with
family, children, friends, our hobbies...that we often don't take the time to
assess our leadership skills. We don't take the time to evaluate what we are good
at and what we need improvement on. We don't take time to develop a
"action plan" to help us set new goals and to achieve them. AND,
we don't find a "change partner" who can encourage us, support us, and
challenge us to reach new goals.
We often say that we are too busy -
and we are often times very busy - but that is just a good excuse to avoid looking
at updating our leadership skills. It is always easier to stay in a comfort zone than
it is to make changes. We've heard the saying "move outside the
box," but we never really develop a clear understanding of what that box
represents. There are many positive and beneficial skills within the
comfort of the box, and yet we still need to challenge ourselves by stepping
outside of the box. So, what does the box represent for you.
When I coach executives and managers, I am
looking for new ways to challenge them. I want the candidate to take on
new roles at work, try them "on," experience them, and the come back and review
the results with me. I ask them to find a "change partner" who
can be an active, supportive person in helping them add new skills. I have
them develop a "blueprint" that describes the goals for the next few
months. In addition, I become the ultimate cheerleader...cheering on every success.
New managers, veteran supervisors, and senior executives all benefit from the coaching because it
challenges them to look at their beliefs, assumptions, and behaviors in a new way. It
encourages change from the inside to the outside. That type of change
lasts a long time.
This leads me to an interesting
story. I've been watching my son mature over the past
two years and there is never a dull moment. One of the ways he continues to challenge himself is through
the Boy Scouts of America. He and I recently went on a canoe trip into the
Boundary Waters of Minnesota. He had
many roles during the trip such as navigator, cook, dishwasher, but most
important was his role as a team member.
There was a crew leader,
assistant leader, food coordinator, and an equipment coordinator. In
addition, every day a different teen took over as navigator. The
adults were there to monitor, assist, encourage, support, and to be the
ultimate cheerleaders for these young men. In the middle of the
wilderness, with compass and map, this crew of nine learn to work together, to trust one
another, and to work toward a common goal. And I was excited to see
these boys (and adults) challenge themselves to find new resources within
Take ten minutes today and start thinking about
what you need to work on to be a better leader at home and at work. Let me
know how it works out.
Copyright 2005 Michael T. Bauer All Rights Reserved
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Interested in building your leadership
skills? Contact me today and we can develop a plan to help you reach new goals.