The art of personal development is one that a great leader is always trying to master. Even more than that, a great leader knows that it is an art form that is never really mastered by anyone; therefore, as leaders we must “be like the water” – easily adaptable to what comes our way and fluidly flowing around any perceived obstacle. In this piece from The Houston Chronicle Online posted by Laura Jerpi, we learn the skills necessary to be like the water.
The Art of Personal Development
Sharpening your personal development skills can help you to become a more effective leader. A successful leader always should be open to change and willing to grow as both an authority figure and an individual. It is important to continuously work to improve your leadership skills to keep your skill set properly aligned with the constantly changing goals and priorities of today’s professional work force.
Improve Interpersonal Skills
An effective leader needs to have good people skills. Your employees and colleagues should feel comfortable coming to you with any problems they have, not intimidated and afraid of your reaction. Taking the time to ask for the opinions of your colleagues and listening carefully to the viewpoint of each person also shows that you respect them. Your colleagues also will appreciate the little things, such as paying them a compliment for work well done or remembering the name of a person you’ve recently met.
Assess Your Skills
Performing a periodic assessment of your own skills can help to ensure your competencies are at the level they should be. If your profession requires knowledge that doesn’t change too quickly, performing this assessment once a year is sufficient. If you’re in a rapidly changing field — such as web design, where new skills are constantly needed to keep up with changes in technology — you should complete this evaluation every few months to stay up-to-date.
Increase Your Knowledge
A good leader never stops learning and always wants to improve his skill set. Making a list of areas you would like to improve, such as acquiring a specific skill set or improving your existing abilities, can help you to become a more well-rounded, valuable leader. After identifying places for improvement, seek ways to obtain this knowledge. Attending industry-relevant conferences or lunch-and-learn sessions at your office, asking for extra assignments at work, finding a mentor, taking online courses and subscribing to applicable professional blogs are all ways to expand your knowledge and improve your job performance.
Encouraging and inspiring team members to attain their own personal goals and reach their potential can help you to become a better leader. Involving each person in planning team goals for the future makes everyone feel like a valued member of the group and helps to get them excited for new projects. Setting high standards for individual performance challenges team members to step out of their comfort zone. Rewarding group members for their hard work shows them that they’re appreciated and makes them feel like an integral part of the team.
We feel that the art of personal development is essential for the mastery of Enlightened Leadership. What are they ways you do work on yourself and how does that help you in your role? How do you stay fluid and free in an environment of constant change?