While the past couple of years and the global pandemic that came with it undoubtedly tested your leadership skills more than you were prepared for, there is always more room for growth.
As you work to take your business forward in 2022, you’re going to need your employees to lift further and help you achieve the goals you have for the venture. Keep brushing up on your leadership skills and push yourself to develop further.
Get a Mentor or Two
Without external input, it’s hard to develop as much as we’d like to, just being in insolation. To grow as a leader, it’s worth finding a mentor or two (or more) who can guide you to learn what you need to and help you become the person you want to be to lead a team effectively.
You might be able to seek out a mentor at work, or you could ask someone you know who has “been there and done that” in the leadership arena to meet with you regularly to help you learn. You could speak with your boss about doing an exchange of some kind so you can work with a manager at another firm, or you might even advertise for and pay a mentor who offers their services in this area.
Remember, too, that some business incubators and innovation centers have mentorship programs you can apply for, as do some universities. Keep an eye out for business groups and associations that feature a mentoring solution, too.
Learn About Different Management Techniques and Strategies
Another way to develop yourself is to wrap your head around numerous management techniques and strategies that leaders use today. It’s vital to pick up ideas in this area, so you always have enough tools to try out in your leadership toolbelt to suit any situation you face.
It pays to enroll in specific management courses that teach students numerous leadership topics and directions. An MBA degree is a popular option for those who plan to head up teams as soon as possible, but there are various other degrees, certificates, etc., to choose from. You’ll also be able to pick up a lot of helpful information at seminars and workshops, trade shows, and by attending relevant conferences.
Plus, you can read leadership books, reports, white papers, forums, magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc., to pick up on leadership techniques or join business associations known for discussing different performance management strategies and other leadership nitty-gritty. Furthermore, put yourself in uncomfortable positions where you have to push your limits and learn new things on the fly. This could be taking on a task type that you haven’t handled before, taking the lead on a particular project, or speaking up more in meetings.
Look for opportunities to say yes to things and take some calculated risks in your career from time to time. Remember that mistakes and less-than-ideal situations are some of the prime avenues for growth, so you won’t get to where you want to be if you don’t push yourself.
Work on Helpful Interpersonal Skills
Working on vital interpersonal skills is a must, too. After all, leaders don’t only need to have considerable knowledge, skills, and experience but be able to manage people effectively, too. If you want to get the most out of a team, you need to have impeccable communication skills, for instance. It’s necessary to know how to converse well in person, by email, over the phone, and by other methods these days.
You must also be a respectful, active listener rather than someone who’s always trying to have their say but never taking on board anything that anyone else says. Other skills to develop include resilience, confidence, focus, and negotiation. You need to get good at problem-solving and innovating, too.
Ensure You Have a Clear Vision and Your Team Understand It
Lastly, don’t forget that the best leaders always have a vision for what they’re trying to achieve, and they communicate this clearly to the personnel in their teams. You need to sit down and think about what you want to get from being the boss and what you hope to make happen for the organization. People can’t help you achieve big goals if you don’t let them in on what you want to accomplish in the first place.
Your vision should relate to SMART goals. This acronym refers to Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals. Basically, you want to develop a vision that you can explain in detail with specific criteria and see, by some measurement, when it has been actioned. The goals you set should be relevant and focused on what’s most important to your business and time-bound in some way, too, so there is a deadline you’re trying to work towards.
Becoming an excellent leader takes a lot of time, patience, and perseverance. However, you can be proactive to pick up new information, skills, and abilities so you’re ready for a leadership role as soon as possible. Consider the factors mentioned above and see which ones might be most helpful to you in 2022.
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