How To Become A Better Leader In 2017
Five Ways To Become A Better Leader in 2017
By Mark Wager
The New Year has started and with it comes your goals for the year. Businesses demand a lot from their leaders and with every year you are expected to do more with less. As expectations grow the resources required to meet those expectations reduce, so it's more vital than ever before for leaders to become better.
Every leader is different, with different strengths and weaknesses and different opportunities to develop into a better leader but there are several things that every leader can do regardless of your experience level to become the type of leader that inspires and motivates your team.
Find a Mentor
A Mentor is an experienced professional and trusted advisor who guides less experienced leaders through their career. Having someone who you can meet on a monthly basis for an hour or so in order to discuss how to overcome the challenges facing you can be a valuable resource. When it works well you can have confidential discussions with someone who has faced similar situations.
There are professional mentors out there but in my experience I've found the best mentors don't cost you anything. The best mentors are anyone who has had experience in the same industry that you are in and most importantly they are someone you can trust, not only to keep your conversations confidential but also you trust them enough to give you honest feedback.
Become a Mentor
You can learn a lot from meeting with a Mentor but you can also learn more from being a Mentor yourself. If you as a leader is serious about becoming better then you need to consider giving up a few hours a month to help guide a less experienced leader through the obstacles that you yourself have already overcome. When you become a Mentor not only do you get the gratification of seeing others develop but you experience opportunities for insightful problem solving in a detached environment because you are not at the centre of the leadership issues and problem solving discussion. This helps you to become a better leader and creates further unique opportunities that utilises your own leadership style which in turn establishes respect and recognition that a good leader deserves. Personal development and growth is the natural outcome of true leadership.
Read more articles
With the advances in technology over the past few years it is easier now than ever before to find and access information. Today by opening a newspaper or going onto the Internet you can learn lessons from the best leadership experts in the world. Not every article will contain advice that is relevant to your particular situation but with the scale of information that is available you will find the answers that you seek. The best leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve and understand and there are many similarities between the successful leaders regardless of their industry so don't narrow your search to leaders within your industry, look for anyone who has achieved success.
Challenge your assumptions
Every leader has a certain level of bias when dealing with different people. For the majority of leaders this bias is very slight and many of you will be unaware that it exists but it does exist. Everyone including leaders makes assumptions on the intentions behind people's actions and this is natural because we assume everyone thinks the same way that we do so we use our own way of thinking which has been developed over years of experiences to create a filter which we use to interpret the intentions of other people. It's natural but it's wrong. In my role as a Leadership Coach I often get called into teams to solve issues between people and I can tell you that in over 90% of circumstances the issues are a direct result of misunderstandings caused by people making assumptions. To become a better leader take time out to ask yourself if your assumptions of people are correct.
Take on new challenges
Comfort is the enemy of development. If you are comfortable in your role then you are not getting better. This year take on new challenges and embrace opportunities to achieve something that you have never done before, whether it's talking in public, dealing with that performance issue that you've been avoiding or stretching for that promotion that you believe is out of your reach. Whatever it may be, push yourself even if it scares you. Remember fear only exists when the outcome is unknown and it's only unknown because you haven't done it yet. The fear is always far less after you've taken on the challenge. Embrace the discomfort of a new challenge because in that moment of discomfort you will find opportunities to become a better leader and a better person.
There will be many challenges waiting for you this year and many of them won't be currently apparent but if you become a better leader then you will be better equipped to meet these challenges and overcome them. All leaders are different but there are similarities in the skills you need to succeed and as a result there are some common things that all leaders can do to become a better leader in 2017.
Posted: Monday 9 January 2017