When many people sit down to think about their leadership skills development, they often get stuck into the traditional ways of doing it. By that I mean:
An academic qualification such as a MBA.
A university year long leadership development programme.
An in house leadership development programme.
These days there have never been so many ways open to you, some of which you might not even have considered. These include:
- Taking A Secondment If you have spent all of your career working in a particular line of the business, taking a secondment can often be a great way of broadening your leadership skills. Generally, when you go on a secondment, your job is kept open so it’s a low risk but potentially high return option.
- Leading A Project Taking on responsibility for leading a project, especially something large scale, will develop a whole host of skills, including:
Project leadership is one that is often overlooked.
- Being A Volunteer Business Advisor Many programmes are run for schools, colleges and budding entrepreneurs to encourage the development of business skills. Most of these programmes value the contribution of business people. By volunteering your time, you contribute and build your skills.
- Taking A Voluntary Board Post Hosts of organisations are always on the lookout for trustees or governors. Those types of posts can give you some real strategic exposure to business even if it is only sometimes small scale.
- Taking A Committee Role In A Professional Body Professional bodies offer opportunities at a local, national and, increasingly, international level. In this type of role, you are having a dual impact on the direction of your profession whilst making yourself more marketable.
- Finding A Mentor Often the fastest way to get to the level that you aspire to reach as a leader is to find someone who has already done it. They can act as a guide, sounding board and great source of support.
- Reading And Applying Knowledge There is a mountain of resources around just about every aspect of leadership. Choose a theme for each half year, read around this theme extensively and, more importantly, create a plan of actions that you will implement.
The Bottom Line
If you want to succeed in the long term as a leader, you need to keep building your capability and competence as a leader.
By Lauren Mathews