Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
present participle: revamping
give new and improved form, structure, or appearance
“Why are you running away from your leadership calling?”
What… I replied, surprisingly! “Why are you running away from your leadership calling?” she whispered again quietly. It was the last question my career coach offered me on a silver platter. I had been appointed to many leadership positions and was a little nervous but excited about prospects of opportunity in my own business.
She’d helped weave a beautiful picture of past great accomplishments. Youngest ever solo glider pilot in Africa, sporting achievements at school. “Sword of Honour” for best candidate officer and commendations in the military, corporate, divisional manager, and so on. The promising hope of a bright future stared at me. Why had I not looked for help or taken a coach earlier?
My 6 months of coaching was an amazing journey of discovery. I was still determined but apprehensive, feeling a lack of confidence from past failures and recent workplace stresses.
From that moment on finding that calling was very important to me. 2 years later, everything started to fall into place when I joined the John Maxwell Team. However, my leadership (and business) skills were about to be tested to the limit. I call it “My Big Revamp”.
So what have I learned about Leadership?
Many authors have written books to help us in building the leadership skills necessary to succeed. John C. Maxwell’s, “Developing the Leader within You” and “The 360° Leader” are 2 that are worth reading.
John Maxwell quotes, “A great leader’s courage to fulfil his vision comes from passion, not position.” I have not always been passionate about my job as an employee because gaining a position is what most often consumed me.
Secondly, leadership has always been about me and my accomplishments. Imagine my shock when I read this statement by John, “The bottom line in leadership isn’t how far we advance ourselves but how far we advance others.” Wow, what inspiring words. Advancing others soon became one of a few primary objectives in my life and business. There is much to learn about leadership through every experience, trial, and challenges we may go through.
Here are 7 essential leadership skills I’ve revamped:
- Communication – this includes both verbal and non-verbal communication methods. As a leader, you must effectively communicate enterprise goals, tasks, and other instructions to your employees. This technological era also requires leaders to be technology savvy. I’ve had difficulty adjusting to technology, but I encourage you to press on. Communication is key – feedback and feedforward – over communicate – use technology.
- Flexibility – as a leader, you need to be able to adapt to last-minute changes. Since your entire team of employees depends on you to keep the enterprise running and deliver to your clients. Flexibility will help you be adaptable. This requires going the extra mile for others.
- Delegation – Leaders must know when and how to delegate some of their work. Most people associate work delegation with weakness, but this is not the case. You should be able to delegate work to your team concerning their skill set. Go it alone, and you will likely fail at some future time.
- Motivation – as a leader, you are the sole source of motivation for your entire team. They look up to you for motivation, especially when faced with tough and strenuous tasks. This could be through recognizing the efforts of the team members and rewarding them when need be.
- Pro-activity – Leaders are proactive. They have initiative and are ready to use it to further themselves and their business. Equally, they look for opportunities to improve their company, such as implementing services or marketing products that allow their business to stand out from the competition. Lastly, they are also open to opportunities to help them expand their current business into new areas.
- Passion – It can be very difficult to overcome the challenges of starting and running a successful business or leading a team to new heights without a true passion for your work. Some of the most successful leaders have either directly developed businesses or projects based on their passions, or they can incorporate things they are passionate about into the day-to-day operation of their businesses and work life.
4 Ways of Demonstrating Your Leadership Skillset
Most companies that offer leadership positions usually opt for trial periods that help them evaluate your leadership skills. This will be your only chance to prove that you can take it head-on.
Stand out from the rest by:
- Working and developing the leadership skills as mentioned earlier
- Make sure that you’re authentic during the interview and even your tenure
- Refrain from having favourites and playing favourites. There should be a distinct and fine line between you and the rest of your employees.
- Make sure you have a coach and a mentor who can challenge your comfort zones. The famous US football coach, John Madden, once said, “The road to easy street goes through the sewer.” There are no shortcuts to personal development.