Leadership is an evolving skill and continuous learning is essential. A combination of technical/hard and people/soft skills is necessary for success. Technical competence is no longer enough for success. “Soft” skills are the yin to the technical yang.
Covid revealed who the best leaders were. It became evident who had acquired valuable E.Q. and relationship skills pre-pandemic and was effectively applying them as we went through the lock downs together. Was fine tuning required? Yes. The best leaders continued to adapt and refine their skills in real time while dealing with the multiple business challenges the pandemic generated and got better every day. They enhanced their leadership skills while managing the challenges of delivering products/services, changing policies, and the disruption to operations and leading their teams.
How did they do it?
They engaged in some, or all the following improvement activities:
- Read books, journals, and articles
- Listened to podcasts
- Subscribed to newsletters
- Joined industry round tables or peer groups
- Secured a mentor or coach
- Got an accountability partner
- Carved out necessary personal recharge time
- Admitted they were struggling and didn’t have all the answers
Personal development and ongoing learning is not an option or a luxury, it is essential for success in life!
Apply some of these techniques to launch your learnership plan:
- Define learning priorities to focus your time on critical skills and knowledge.
- Set SMARTER goals for your personal learning.
- Track your progress using qualitative and quantitative scorecard.
- Get an accountability partner.
- Subscribe to podcasts, blogs, and vlogs from thought leaders.
- Share the information about the books you read and podcasts with others.
- Set monthly goals to have coffee or lunch with a colleague, peer, or client, to discuss what you have learned.
- Be intentional with your learning and block off time in your calendar. (For more information on this topic, you can read my recent blog on Timeboxing.)
Not all learning needs to be work related. Take time and participate in activities that provide exposure to new skills and perspectives from people outside of your business circle. Sign up for painting, music, or cooking lessons, or learn a new language.
These activities will engage different parts of your brain and get the creative juices flowing. Having an open mind is the first step to growth and learnership.
The key to be an outstanding leader is to be an outstanding learner.