Promoted, but not prepared, describes many a leader, but the reasons differ. One leader gets promoted because of their skills. Another because of limited other choices. Some take a promotion, only to find disillusion in a position, not at all what they envisioned. Yet, when promoted to leadership, the need, privilege and responsibility for leading team members, remains. In all cases, a promotion, recent or distant, makes the need to lead real, and the reasons for improving, compelling. These five reasons to become a better leader are important for you, as well as for them, even if they are simply better preparing you for the next promotion.
If you have been promoted, but not prepared, or feel you are the right person in the wrong position, becoming a better leader in your existing position will prevent feeling as ill prepared in the next one. Hindsight is a powerful teacher. What can you learn in this role that will help you in the future?
The word leader rarely brings to mind the word family, immediately. Yet, the very concept of leadership begins internally, and personally. What leadership skills could you improve that could also improve personal relationships or communication with loved ones? Remember, at work our opposites are called difficult. At home, they’re called honey.
New skills build an ease for doing things once seen as challenging. If frustration is a frequent feeling for your leadership, learning how to become a better leader will increase confidence in your abilities to handle more situations. The confidence boost will reduce self-judgment and second guessing of your decisions and actions. Needed actions will get easier and you’ll feel better about your ability to do them, spending less time wondering if they should have been done differently.
If you’re a leader, leading the way is a responsibility. Whether in the vision, mission, goals, or mindset, leaders show others to follow and are consistently looking to clear barriers. If your own skills need improvement in one area and you fail to improve them, this could easily become a barrier for an entire team of people.
Before you say becoming a better leader is NOT easy, reread the word choice. Improvement of skills in delegation, confidence, motivation, engagement, recognition, communication, or even emotional intelligence IS simple. There are steps to follow, assessments to measure, articles to read, coaches to hire, and mentors to guide. Getting the knowledge of how to improve, and taking one small step consistently, is simple.
The portion of becoming a better leader that some find difficult is not the process, the specific, nor the identification of what needs improvement. What feels difficult is changing our own behavior, or communicating or leading in a manner or style with which we’re not yet comfortable or requires effort. Well, yes, by definition, effort is not easy stuff, but the effort you make to become a better leader is worth it in multiple ways. Yet, there is still an admitted gap, but real leaders know the bridge that connects simple with easy is built with desire and effort.
Monica Wofford, CSP is a leadership development specialist and professional speaker. Her coaching, books, and skill based training programs are requested internationally. Monica is the CEO of www.ContagiousCompanies.com, a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives and may be reached at 1-866-382-0121.