7 Practical Ways to Grow as a Leader

Everywhere I (Lee) turn, I hear people talking about the need to increase performance via new processes and/or raising employee engagement. Great ideas, but change and growth must start with leaders first, and that’s a nasty proposition for many leaders who have done the same thing for most of their careers.

I was coaching a CEO who was a fine man and great at getting results, but he had been with the company for a year and hardly knew his team. He told me, “Being relational is just not me. I don’t do that well.” So, we adapted his strengths to create a spreadsheet to help manage his struggles. We listed all his people across the top and then in column one, listed seven specific things he could do to build a relationship and encourage each one.

His job was to get those boxes checked off, and he became more relational by adapting his strengths to manage his struggles.

Here are 7 practical ways that all of us can immediately begin to grow –

  1. Believe in yourself. Courageously set aside your doubts and fears and any underlying pride.
  2. Assess to gain self-awareness. Gain insights—use assessments, and objective feedback, so you know what needs work.
  3. Plan. Develop a simple plan on how you will adapt. For example, pick two areas of struggle.
  4. Be humble—go public. Let others know that you are working on these two areas of growth.
  5. Practice. List specific situations in which you will adapt (maybe use a spreadsheet).
  6. Be accountable. Ask for feedback on successes and missed opportunities.
  7. Courageously commit to the long haul. Coach yourself; it will probably never become completely natural.

Please add your advice and wisdom to this conversation by posting below.

Also read and watch this month’s full blog on this topic – “How Innovative Leaders are Breaking Newton’s Laws”




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