As newborn babies we have to learn almost everything. We do so by copying others and making mistakes while trying new things. For leadership it is no different.
Learning to be a leader
Nobody starts their professional career as a leader. We always start as part of a team and then gradually move on : someone likes you and before you know it, you get a call to take the next step. At that point, being assigned leadership over your first small team, you have to acquire a complete new set of skills and competences !
Looking for guidance and input
So where can you get help ? You can’t go to school again, and most of the time you are only a part time leader anyway … As naturally, you become part of another team, led by another leader. Even if it’s the leadership team.
So probably, that will be the place where you will look for help : your boss and your peers. And as you assume them to be successful, you just copy what they do.
But what if you copy a bad example?
We assume that experienced leaders are successful at what they do. But what if they aren’t ? There’s plenty of data that shows us the opposite. Read for example this article on Gallup. It tells us that the majority of people are not energized, nor motivated to give their best at work. And bad leadership is to blame !
Of course the exceptions confirm the rule, but they are a minority. Even more bad news : the numbers are getting worse. So how can you learn and develop as a good leader ?
Listen to your team
The secret of acquiring good leadership skills doesn’t lie in the leadership team … It lies in your own team ! Instead of copying your boss, just listen to the people you are supposed to lead. Their honest feedback will help you grow so much more. It will challenge you and help you take your development so much more seriously.
I remember so many encounters that helped me see where I needed to change. Their feedback shaped me, and I look back at it now as a true gift. That’s why we created Fun to work with. To enable and support all people to give and receive feedback at work. Creating teams and leaders who are fun to work with.
But then again, why should you just follow my example as a leader ? Listen to your team and learn from what they have to say about it.