Growth Strata•Gems Magazine Growth Strata•Gems Magazine Spring 2018 - Page 12

GROW AS A LEADER I How Will You Grow As A Leader? once posed a question to a group of CEOs and business owners: “How did you learn to be a leader?” grow your business without growing the leadership skills of people in the business (including those of the CEO). The best answer I received was “I watched what my Dad did and then did the opposite.” An interesting insight and a few others nodded their heads in agreement. Apart from this, however, there was no response. This highlights what I’ve found is a common problem: there’s a lack of knowledge on how to intentionally grow as a leader. This is a problem because you can’t sustainably Let me explain this by looking at a common scenario: someone has just been promoted at work. We all know that the nature of their work relationships will change in that former peers may become direct reports and former bosses will now be peers. This alone would be challenging enough, but the unfortunate truth from a leadership- skill perspective is that the skills they exhibited to earn their promotion may not be the same ones they’ll need in their new role. In fact, their old skills could be very wrong for their new role. So, by what process does one identify and develop new leadership skills? The process I use can be described as follows: • • Step 1: Assess where the person is at. • Step 3: Identify the new skills required by Step 2. • Step 2: Decide what’s important for them to be successful in the new role. Step 4. Coach the person on how to develop those skills. The process is rather simple, yet I am often asked, how does one figure out what to work on? Here is a simple competency hierarchy that I’ve found useful. It explains what happens when people move up the corporate ladder. What I like is it starts people thinking about what skills they’ll need in their new role. It also eliminates the widespread belief that “leaders are born not made.” In this model, all skills are learnable, and everyone who has the will, can improve their skills. 12 | SPRING 2018