Your Search for Leadership Excellence
Developing your leadership skills is a never-ending quest. It may have a beginning...but it does not have an end!
If you are like me, then you have, at times, come to feel comfortable in certain environments after you've been there for a while. While it's good to be comfortable - it can enhance our happiness, help us to nurture our relationships, enable us to be more effective in all areas of our lives - it can also shield us from the very things that can make us stronger!
Have you ever felt like "the place looks the same...but it's really different"? Life as a whole is always in flux, in motion, and really leadership skills are really no different, and thus we need to look after them on a regular basis.
Here are five things to consider as to why you need to keep after your leadership skills - really on a daily basis:
- Use it or lose it - Like the muscles in our bodies, and like our brains, if we don't use them, we will lose them. If you lift weights, run, or do any other form of exercise, you also know that you improve the most, and gain the most benefit, when you push yourself up against a higher resistance level - whether increasing the weight you are lifting, or try to run faster. So it is with leadership. You grow when youu face the resistance in front of you and learn to handle it anew.
- New challenges are always right around the corner - Each challenge we overcome...is followed by another! While it's great to celebrate our wins, it's also important to move on to the next thing. That involves not "resting on our laurels"...which obviously leads to no growth and even decline. If you can get into the mindset of DESIRING that next challenge, you will get well beyond that!
- The questions are the same...but the answers have changed - Often times - not necessarily our of laziness - we fail to look anew at situations we have encountered before. We think, "Hey, I've been there, done that." But that was in the past...and the dragon you slayed int he past may be vastly different than the dragon you need to slay now! Often times, problems look the same, and while we should leverage our experience, it is erroneous to assume we are up against the same thing again. Leadership is cutting edge...and we need to think through new, but seemingly old, challenges with a fresh mind. Ask the questions...but be open to different answers!
- You change, and those around you also change - Even if you're in the same place...with the same people...they really are not the same! People change: we all get older; some get sick or injured; things happen in our lives; people learn. The world changes, too: there are demographic shifts; economic conditions change; decisions have been made! time and change are always factors in the mind of the leader.
- You must always challenge yourself - I mentioned above about not "resting on your laurels". I also implied that we need to watch that we not become "too comfortable" in any situation we find ourselves, as it could leave us unaware, unprepared, and vulnerable. I have found it to be true that, no matter what situation we may find ourselves in, there is something challenging that demands our attention, if we will just look for it and give it.
Thomas J. Watson, the famous former President of IBM, is reputed to have said, "I don't worry about the bad times. It's the good times I worry about, because that's when we get into bad habits."
We previously mentioned in another post on Leadership PDUs that, in the "PMI’s Pulse of the Profession In-Depth Report: Navigating Complexity", the PMI reported that 75% of organizations rank leadership skills as the most important for successful navigation of complexity in projects. It's important to keep up with your leadership skills on a regular basis!