Ten Leadership Lessons

By November 2, 2020 January 26th, 2021 No Comments

Leaders in any capacity have the responsibility to continue to learn and grow. Without that continuous pursuit for improvement, we become stagnant and less effective. There are different actions we can all take along the path of leadership development. I shared ten leadership lessons through LinkedIn in the month of October. I have collected them here as a comprehensive resource. If you prefer to watch videos rather than reading, scroll to the bottom of this post and you’ll find the links to videos. As always, I welcome other ideas on how we can develop as leaders as we drive our personal growth.

  1. Driving your own growth: We can’t afford to wait around for the organization to provide our professional development opportunities. Each person is responsible for their own personal growth plan. So, first, determine areas of opportunity for growth. What do you want to learn? How do you want to grow? This is designed and owned by you.
  2. Getting connected: Tip #2 is all about getting connected. If you are on LinkedIn, I’m assuming you have some interest in connecting with other professionals. It’s not enough to just connect, however. You need to foster those relationships through authentic interactions and conversations. So, take time to interact with posts, initiate and respond to direct messages in your inboxes. Those conversations will definitely add to your growth and you never know what opportunities may arise because of them.
  3. Setting goals: Lesson #3 in personalized leadership development is to set goals. Not only do we need to set realistic and personal goals, but we need to write them down, keep them visible and share them with someone to hold us accountable. Goals should be attainable but still stretch you. The beauty of designing and owning your own growth plan is that goals can be flexible. Feel free to tweak those as needs/opportunities change.
  4. Learning: How are you feeding your growth? Continuous learning has never been easier. Find the right people to learn with and from and then also tap into all of the resources at your fingertips: podcasts, blog posts, books, articles, webinars, videos…the list is endless. The important part is that you are finding the ways and places to learn and grow towards accomplishing your goals.
  5. Reflecting: Setting goals and creating a learning pathway are vital to your leadership development, but without intentional reflection we lose much of the growth potential. Lesson #5 is to set aside time weekly to reflect. If it’s not on the schedule, it likely won’t happen. I actually put “reflection” time on my calendar each week. It doesn’t matter if you do this individually, or if you find someone to reflect with. The point is to do it. Reflect on the learning and reflect on your growth towards your goal.
  6. Creating an action plan: Writing a goal is necessary but after that is established, you have to create an action plan. Writing down specific steps with due dates helps craft the plan that will help you accomplish your goals. I revisit the action plan each week during my reflection time. Did I accomplish each step? What next steps do I need to take? The action plan is dynamic and continuously growing until the goal is accomplished.
  7. Finding a coach: Who helps you through your journey of leadership development? It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the field for 20 years or 1 year. A coach is vital to your growth and success. Lesson #7 is to find a leadership coach. Coaching can happen 100% virtually, so there is nothing stopping you from finding that person to support, encourage and challenge you along the way. Your coach also doesn’t need to be from your professional background. A good coach supports your development regardless of industry.
  8. Inviting feedback: In order to grow, you have to be open to other people’s perspective. You have to invite feedback and then be open to how you might apply that feedback along your pathway for growth. If you don’t have a growth mindset, you won’t grow. It’s that simple.
  9. Taking care of yourself: How do you take care of yourself? There are things that I make sure I do daily, weekly, and monthly to refill my bucket. For me, I have to find time each day for physical activity and connecting with my kids. I try to eat healthy throughout the day and disconnect from work in the evenings. I don’t check work emails on the weekend if I can help it. Lesson #9 is to make sure you are taking care of yourself. That’s the only way to be the best leader you can be.
  10. Repeating the cycle for continuous growth: Once you have accomplished one goal, it’s time to write a new one and craft a new action plan. Learning and growth should never stop.

Links to videos:

  1. Driving your growth
  2. Getting connected
  3. Setting goals
  4. Learning
  5. Reflecting
  6. Creating an action plan
  7. Finding a coach
  8. Inviting feedback
  9. Taking care of yourself
  10. Repeating the cycle for continuous growth