A key aim of our leadership and management training is to help managers both old and new to evaluate themselves and increase their overall self-awareness. It is an opportunity to recognise the qualities we do have and to value them. It is also the chance to understand where our default management style may behaving a negative effect on results.
One way to put this into context and prepare yourself for the year ahead is to think terms of the past, the present and the future.
Where Have You Come From?
It is always worth putting our current leadership skills and behaviours into context. Before considering our present attributes, we need to think of our starting point. This could be when we first entered management, started a particular leadership role or even the beginning of the previous year.
This will provide a useful benchmark to appreciate the reasons behind behaviours at that time. For example if we were typically using crisis leadership to get things done, then we might have been using a more direct style of leadership where we just told people what to do. This can work in the short term but unfortunately it is usually unsustainable becoming less effective over time as people either leave or ignore your threats!
Where Are You Now?
Looking at your achievements now and the development of your team will help you to measure whether you have moved forward or not. Are your current behaviours and leadership style supporting the team to get the results you want or are they hindering them? Taking our example above, have you improved your forward planning skills to reduce the amount of fire fighting you were doing previously? Have you delegated better in order to free up your time for more strategic thinking and the direction of the business?
Where Do You Want To Be By The End Of The Year?
A key part of any leadership role is being clear about where you want to be and how you wish to develop yourself further. Successful leaders are never satisfied with their performance and are always looking to improve and develop. When things don’t happen as planned they look to learn from them rather than be deflated by them. If you read autobiographies by successful entrepreneurs you will discover that many of them have had failed businesses. What sets aside from other managers or leaders is how they respond.
So where do you want to be by the end of the year in terms of your leadership? What have you learned from the journey you have already made? In terms of your own benchmarking where are you now? What opportunities do you have to develop your skills further? Do you have the chance to find a mentor or coach who can help you? Do you need to work with other like-minded people who can challenge and support you in equal measure? Have you considered looking outside the traditional development channels and considering learning the skills you need in a voluntary position?
If you want help shaping your personal development as a leader, please contact us and we will be glad to be part of your future journey.
Senior Management Trainer & Consultant at MTD Training
(Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)