Honing your leadership skills frequently requires time, but there are steps you can take toward leadership development right now! You don't have to wait for the next conference or mentoring program to improve your skills and become the leader you dream of becoming.
In an interview with online magazine Entrepreneur, leadership coach Scott Eblin gives some clues about what we can do--now to improve our personal development.
Prioritize your activities. Take a long hard look at your schedule. The best leaders don't get bogged down in the miry details of day-to-day operations. Becoming a better leader isn't about doing more, it's about working smarter, focusing on the tasks that no one else can do. Do you really need to attend that meeting? Is that teleconference the best use of your time? Examine your schedule and make the necessary changes.
Engage in peer coaching. When you think of coaching, you may tend to think of the teacher-student scenario. However, peer to peer coaching has so much to offer. Learn how a fellow VP handles HR issues. What's her method for streamlining fulfillment? Is it working for him or her? If you want to be the leader you dream of, you'll learn from all relevant sources.
Ask for feedback. If you're serious about improving your leadership skills, asking for feedback is the perfect place to start. Leadership development is all about strengthening weak areas but sometimes we can be blind to where those weak areas are. Solicit feedback from customers, co-workers and management but do be specific about the request. You don't want to open the door to endless amounts of criticism in unrelated areas. With customers, follow up on the sale with a brief, voluntary questionnaire. Don't spend time defending yourself, simply collect the data and make improvements.
What are your thoughts on how to become a better leader?