Some of the ‘How’ of Developing your Leadership Behaviors

This post is also available in: العربية (Arabic)

In my last Blog, I talked about the ‘why’ of leadership development. ‘Why’ should leadership skills be developed ?

I said this week I’d look at some of the ‘how’ – ‘how’ to develop leadership skills.

Obviously, the first stage is recognizing that ongoing development is very much a part of leadership development.

Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, the authors of The Leadership Challenge, published a book in 2016 titled ‘Learning Leadership’.

Learning leadership is something we do every day. Ongoing.

Ask yourself, at the beginning of the day, perhaps before you leave home, or travelling to your place of work :

‘What can I do today to become a better leader ?’

The answers that you give yourself may include some of the following:

  • Today I’m going to listen more to those I’m interacting with.
  • Today I’m going to spend time actively developing relationships.
  • Today I’m going to specifically ‘do what I say I will do’.
  • Today I’m going to show others the trust I have in them by enabling them to do more than I would normally ask them to.

Then at the end of the day, reflect on the outcome of what you decided to do at the start of the day.

The ‘Why’ of Developing Your Leadership Behaviors

This post is also available in: العربية (Arabic)

How can you develop your leadership behaviors ?

Well, we know that leadership requires deliberate practice. Leadership isn’t something that you read about or attend a workshop and then hope that you’ll change simply because of the book you read or the time you spent at the workshop.

Of course, attending workshops and reading about leadership are important. No question.

But then comes the change process.

The first part of any change process is the recognition of the need to change. And as part of this I call it the ‘why’ process. Why should I change ? Are there benefits to me if I change ? Why will my change help others ?

When we understand ‘why’ then we can look at the ‘how’.

In regard to leadership, the ‘why ?’ is sometimes clear, sometimes not.

Some people don’t recognize that if they change, things will get better. They are somehow comfortable with where they are and the results they’re getting.

For others, the point of recognition can be life-changing – for the individual and for others.

Niousha Ehsan is a case in point. She runs an event company in Dubai. In 2013, there was a what was described as a revolving door at the company. Then came a powerful recognition by Niousha – “I need to change.” What she meant was that she recognized that her leadership needed to change.

As a result, her company was awarded Middle East SME Employer of Choice in 2016. And more awards followed.

More importantly, there is a growing list of people wanting tojoin her company. No more revolving door.

Her company is growing significantly – last week I visited their new premises and for me it was a real ‘wow’ experience.

Niousha is making a real difference and I think with this success and the empowerment she gives her growing team, she is having more time with her young daughter and her husband.

Next week, I’ll share some of the ‘how’ with you. Simple things you can do to change your behavior, to develop and embed leadership behaviors.

Remember, leadership is up to you. Leadership is a choice.

And the best leaders learn from their people – every day.