Top tip: How much did you train your leadership - or are you relying on practice and a born with it gift?
The project above made us consider an interesting point. Name any top-performer: Sports, business, academia, anyone? How many hours of training do you think this person did within this particular field?
Yet somehow, we often tend to refer to leadership as a gift, a talent, a skill which you either have or you don’t. As any sports coach will tell you, talent alone only gets you about 10-15% of the way – the rest is training and practice. Think of Tiger Woods or Caroline Wozniaki. Do you think they just learned the basics and worked from there, leaning by mistakes the hard way?
As leaders we need to take our own training in the craft of leadership as seriously as we take the training in professional skills our business is based on. A lawyer has to update her/his knowledge every year, yet has no requirement for mandatory leadership training, even if s(he) is a business owner or partner of a major law firm. A scientist leading a research department has to keep up to date with recent development in his/her field, yet often ignores or dismisses the mere idea of wasting time on leadership training. Yet as leaders we have more influence on the world through our leadership than through our professional skills.
Our top tip for you as a leader is therefore to see your leadership responsibility as a skill that requires training, preferably annually. Of course working with us through one of our tailored programs would be marvelous, however that is not the point. Read a few books, get a coach or a mentor, join an online course, or whichever model suits your life and your work. Just don’t lean back, assuming that the Management 101 course you did 15 years ago still keeps you afloat.
Treat your leadership as a craft that should be cultivated and developed annually. And you will keep getting better at what you do, creating impressive results for your team as well as yourself.