If you read yesterday’s post, you’re already on your way to reading more and developing your leadership IQ. That’s fantastic, but I’m sorry to say that its not enough. Book knowledge is great, but the real development comes when you get out and learn from other leaders who have gone before you.
Here are some ways to develop your leadership skills by gleaning from others:
Seek Out Training
1. Paid Training/Coaching – This is a fantastic, yet potentially pricey way to develop your leadership skills. If you’re in a business setting, you can purchase training for your entire management team. If you’re an individual or in a small business setting, you can get individualized coaching to help you develop your skills on a one to one basis.
This is what I do for people. If you’d like to talk more about that, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Mentoring – I cannot put a value on mentoring relationships. You’ll learn more from a great mentor than you will from any book out there. Seek out one or two people in your life whose leadership skills you truly admire. This could be your boss, a professor, a much more experienced colleague, etc. Here are some traits to look for:
- Wisdom – Do they have much to offer you intellectually?
- Experience – Have they lived a lot more life than you have?
- Patience – Will they come alongside and walk with you?
- Interest – Do they care about your growth?
- Commitment - Will they stick with you for a period of time?
Surround Yourself with Positive Influencers
3. Peers With Solid Leadership Skills – Perhaps this is a friend who holds a management position at his company. Maybe its your church group leader. Whoever these people are in your life, seek them out and spend time with them. You’ll be amazed at how much you pick up by osmosis.
4. People Who Inspire You – This goes beyond friends who are merely good leaders. Seek out the folks you know who are doing great things; things that really grab your attention. Intentionally develop relationships with those peers who really stand out. Learn as much as you can from them.
Follow the Leaders
5. Sit Under Quality Leadership – If you’re looking for a church, find one with a strong leadership team. If you’re searching for a new job, go to work for an organization with solid management. Watch the way they work. Take the time to be a follower under the authority of skilled leadership. Embrace it and learn from those above you.
6. Study Leaders You Admire – This gets back to the reading topic a bit, but in a more practical sense. Read blogs, magazines, and newspapers. Watch the news. Listen to the radio. Pay attention to the organizations and leaders that you respect. See how they operate. You’ll gain valuable practical insight on how these leaders run their organizations.
Get Out There
At this point, you’ve got your reading plan set up from yesterday. Now, you’re going to seek out some practical wisdom from the leaders around. Tomorrow, we’re going to look at making the most of all that and more.