Some people are natural born leaders. The rest of us… well… we need to work on it, and to become a good leader requires you work on it daily. It’s impossible to become a great leader in a day. John C. Maxwell, a premier author and speaker in Leadership Development writes and speaks of a concept he calls “The Law of the Lid.” Basically, the lid is your leadership potential. If you have low leadership skills then you will hit the lid and not grow and not provide adequate leadership and this lid will restrict your ability. If you have high leadership skills than the lid is high and thus allows you to become more successful, before hitting your max.
Most leadership experts agree you can develop leadership skills. Personally, I wasn’t one of the few that was born a natural leader. I am, like most of us, the one that has to work on my leadership ability every day. So what do I do to become a better leader? Great question. J
- You want to lead, you have to read. I am an avid reader of personal development. I don’t generally read fictional novels. All of my reading are books that help me grow as an individual. I read books on leadership, management, success stories, concepts, sales strategies and more. I have to admit… I don’t finish every book I start… GASP… If I get to a point where I feel it’s repetitive, not applicable, or boring… I move on. With no shame. My time is limited (as is everyone’s) and I want to make sure I get the best ROI I can. I strive to read a book each week. That means 52 books per year. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don’t. However, it’s been years since I have gotten to December 31st and felt unaccomplished, in my book reading.
- Practice, practice, practice. I put into motion the things I read about that I think will help me be better at leadership, sales, management, whatever. I try them. My rule of thumb is at least 30 days. Sometimes 30 days doesn’t make sense, so you have to use some common sense with the application of the material. After my assessment period is over, I evaluate and make a decision based on my experience. Did the tactic or strategy work? Based on my experience can I make it better? Can I tweak it?
- Don’t beat yourself up ever– If you go for a stretch not applying, not reading, or you realize the tactic or strategy you tried is or was a big mistake don’t dwell. Change your ways and move forward. If you look back you’ll fall back. I consulted for a company, and the President once said “If you’re going to fall, try and fall forward.” How do you fall forward? Another great question J By minimizing the impact. If you tried a technique and it starts to make sales decline, then go back immediately to the prior tactic. If the prior tactic isn’t the one you want to stick with, then use it while you regroup.
Leadership development is important for career and life success. Whatever or however much leadership skills you decide you want to develop be sure you add some type of leadership development to your daily to-do list. Signing up for motivational quotes is one way to get started, another is committing to reading 15 minutes a day about success strategies, leadership, etc. Everyone has an extra 15 minutes for development. Don’t forget audio books are a great way to fill commute times.