Successful leaders know that intelligence, perseverance and passion can take them only so far in today’s ever changing global business environment. To set yourself apart, accelerate your career forward, leaders need to be adaptable and re-invent themselves. Easier sad than done!
When leaders are successful they tend to have few reasons to change their behavior or focus on developing new skills. Their success has been filled with positive reinforcement (greater responsibilities, bigger titles, more money), so it is natural for leaders to continue doing what they have always done and stay in the status quo! It’s human nature. Don’t fall into that trap. Remember, the skills that got you to where you are today, won’t help you get to where you want to go. Take risks, and rise to new challenges.
How can leaders learn to be more adaptable and re-invent themselves?
1. Become a lifelong learner. Be a watchful observer of yourself and those around you. This will require a keen sense of emotional intelligence. Look at colleagues working above, below and besides you so you can constantly incorporate new skills and build a database of leadership competencies and tactics. This will require humility.
2. Be confident and authentic. Both are crucial for re-invention. Without a belief in your abilities how do you expect others to believe in you. Always exude confidence but not in a arrogant way. Be real. Stay on course, take risks and be positive.
3. Keep an open mind. Seek and volunteer for opportunities that will stretch your skills and knowledge. Approach a new role, new assignment as an opportunity to learn new skills and ways of getting things done.
4. Get feedback about your leadership skills. Embrace having your team and boss provide feedback on your leadership strengths and areas for growth. Then pick two or three areas to focus on. Let others know and ask for their help. Keep track of your progress. Change is not easy. Be clear what success looks like and how you will measure it.
5. Be comfortable with ambiguity. You don’t need to know it all.
Business is not static why should you be? Get going. Re-invent yourself and get to where you want to go.