Roy's Blog

September 25, 2017

4 practical ways a leader can keep on growing

Once you’ve grasped the leader brass ring you’ve made it; now you can relax and ride the wave until you decide to do something else.

If that’s what you believe, get ready for a rude awakening.

What you’ve earned today, you must fight to keep tomorrow. It’s amazing to witness a leader in free fall who doesn’t stay relevant to their organization.

Every standout leader has a personal development plan; a strategy to continually build their value as an individual that can enhance the performance and long term survival of the organization.

Leader growing

A personal development plan should have these four elements.

1. New organizational capabilities. Defining the new skills and competencies that must be acquired if the organization is to retain its competitive position - and the current ones that must be abandoned because they’re no longer relevant.
Long term success isn’t about continuing to do what created past success; it’s about defining the course to be charted that will meet the challenges tomorrow of changing customer demands, disruptive technology and new competition.
The survivor leader must paint themselves a rich and detailed picture of what the organization must look like tomorrow if it is to continue to thrive.

2. Personal competencies. Given the new capabilities the organization needs to develop for future success, the leader defines the new skills they must possess and an action plan to acquire them.
If for example, their business faces much more aggressive competition brought on by new disruptive technology, a personal development plan to learn and practice new marketing skills would be very appropriate.
For leaders to grow, they must continually be morphing their skill set to be synergistic with the challenges facing the organization.

3. 360 degree feedback. Obtaining feedback from others on a leader’s performance is a vital element of a personal development plan.
Many organizations use this tool to measure performance; I believe, however, that it has the most powerful impact as a personal development tool.
Personally, the 360 was most useful in obtaining feedback from my peers; my boss and direct reports tended to rate me favourably and from them it was difficult to define a specific improvement action plan. My peers, in the other hand, had no problem hammering me on behaviour they thought inappropriate.
I used my 360 results to improve my performance and to identify developmental experience and skill gaps that I had to close.

4. A lateral move. Most leaders don’t give this element of their personal development plan the attention it deserves; in fact it is rarely mentioned.
As a developmental tool, however, negotiating a lateral move into a completely different position has invaluable growth benefits for the individual.
I moved from VP Marketing to VP Operations and it was the best thing I could have done. I applied my strategic skills to the operations role and took away an “in the trenches” practical experience that served me well on my way to a president position.
Moving around the organization is the most effective way for a leader to develop themselves and enhance their relevance to the organization.
And it gets them known in all corners of the organization as a leader who wants to learn all aspects of the organization.

A leader that doesn’t have a personal growing plan is at risk of being irrelevant sooner or later.

Don’t be a victim.

Cheers, Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 9.25.17 at 04:16 am by Roy Osing
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