The program for independent development of leadership qualities should reflect your firm intention to make the most of all your talents. Focus it on specific practical steps, rather than on vague formulations. If you act consistently and purposefully, then you will become a leader. There is no magic here, but there are no recipes for the quick success.
To begin acting, do not wait until a passionate desire to change yourself comes, this can take years. The desires are momentary and fleeting, and your efforts must be systematic and well planned. It is the constant actions that form the attitude. If you create an image of a person that you want to become, based on the best example of real leaders, then all factors will work together, contributing to your self-development. Theory and practice, success and failure, friends and enemies, all this will help you. Do not be afraid to take the initiative and even take risks if you want to reach the heights. A good incentive is the fact that the leadership is inexhaustible. Its development has no limits. No man knows himself until the end and the self-perfection has no limits. The most important thing is to continuously move up this road, leaving behind failures and disappointments. There are many resources on the success and leadership on the Internet. We can easily use them as a tool for the self-study. Since any planning should be based on priorities, then your plan is useful to divide into three sections:
– Short-term goals that you can achieve immediately or within the next few weeks;
– Medium-term objectives: activities or improvements, the completion of which may take several months.
– Long-term goals: the position or state that you would like to achieve in a few years.
The basic principle is that it is you who are primarily responsible for your development as a leader. After all, leadership cannot be taught, it can only be learned. If you try, you will succeed. With a hard work, a man even with the most modest abilities will eventually become a natural leader. It’s sad to see how a born leader fails, but this happens often. If you constantly develop your strengths and keep your weakness in check, then your effectiveness as a leader will necessarily increase. Perhaps you will feel, for example, that you have mastered the art of holding managerial meetings, conducting business negotiations. And what is about the effective leadership of the whole team, the art of motivating the subordinates? Having risen to one level, you will find the next vertex in front of you. And so, it will continue indefinitely. Deeply understanding the leadership, you will begin to understand that some practical skills and techniques are not enough. So, the theory should not be neglected.
The key elements of any leadership development are as follows:
– Knowledge of theoretical principles;
– Maximum of practice;
– Learning through feedbacks, analysis of successes and failures.
The experience of one person is always limited, however great he is. The theory generalizes the practical experience of hundreds and thousands of people. Therefore, there is nothing more practical than a good theory. Without a theoretical foundation, you will be able to only thoughtlessly copy the words and deeds of individual practitioners. Even if they were the brightest and most outstanding leaders in history. But they acted in their time, in their situation and they were different people with their characters and temperaments. Do not blindly copy their experience. It does not give anything in terms of personal self-improvement. Any copy will always be just a pale shadow of the original. Mastering the methods of theoretical analysis and synthesis will allow you to creatively take over and apply the experience of others in accordance with the specific tasks that face you.
Your Personal Leadership Development Plan
A personal plan for the development of leadership qualities must be concrete and realistic. It must mobilize all your abilities and demand from you a full return. The following are a few basic rules that will help you in the self-development:
Set clear goals. People sometimes fail because they have little idea of the goals they seek. Try to imagine in your head the final result that you want to achieve, and write it down as much as possible.
Set realistic deadlines. Those habits that have been formed in you throughout life are impossible to change in one or two days. A strong and systematic work is needed to change our own thinking and behavior patterns. Your current mode of action is the result of years of learning, so the new behavior model will slowly replace the old one.
Determine by what criteria you will judge your success. Develop a system of intermediate goals. In this way, you can control your progress and add new impulses to your personal plan. The perfection of leadership qualities is continuous. As soon as one goal is achieved, new areas to apply your efforts on must be appointed.
Be happy with a modest progress, especially at the beginning. It is often said that a large oak grows from a small acorn. An impulsive person, hoping to change himself in the rapid eye movement, rarely succeeds. Success fuels success. In the course of this work, you may have to reconsider your assessment of how high you are able to climb the mountain of leadership. Your effectiveness will depend on your ability to the self-improvement.
Do not miss the opportunity. While you are working on a personal development plan, new opportunities may arise. You will be able to improve relations with others, create a team of like-minded people, move forward in the business, make new relationships. The ability to recognize and exploit opportunities can distinguish people who work on themselves. The worst of all strategies is to wait passively for a suitable event. It can be acceptable only when there is nothing left. Much of the modern management science is just devoted to narrowing the action zone for a happy event. For example, a marketing research is designed precisely to eliminate the point of uncertainty in the field of supply and demand for goods. The same principle of narrowing the zone of uncertainty can be applied to the development of leadership skills. Many people are used to believing that the promotion is usually the result of a happy event or personal relations. This is a passive attitude. It would be hypocritical to say that luck does not matter. This is not true. The fact is that when there is an opportunity, even if by chance, a person should be ready for it. Otherwise, his triumph will be short-lived. To a certain extent, you create your own luck.
Take risks in unfamiliar situations. The new situations often seem more dangerous than usual ones. Often, you have to choose between the risk and the safe return back. The uncertainty of the new situation becomes a negative factor and inhibits your self-development.
Remember that your development is governed mainly by you. In the end, everyone is responsible for his own life. In all periods of life, people have the choice to learn and grow on the basis of life experience, or ignore the lessons learned, focus on safety and let themselves be defeated. The personal effectiveness requires that you learn to be responsible in the course of your own life.
Watch carefully and be ready to learn from others. This is a very important and rather painless way to develop your leadership skills. Since the childhood, we all have the opportunity to observe those who are better and more successful than us. From an early age, we gain this experience. You can learn a lot from others. Their approach, attitude, and skills deserve to find the reasons for their successes or failures. Although you must take full responsibility for your actions, it is often useful to consult others. Their reactions, impartial views are a valuable resource. Do not be afraid to question other people’s point of view, this will allow you to appreciate these people’s thoughts.
Learn from your failures and mistakes. In your practical activities, you will inevitably encounter failures, since any success is impossible without a defeat. Accept this as the reality. Consider your failures and mistakes as a feedback from practice, learn from them. This approach even turns the failure into a useful resource for development. It is necessary to do everything possible to identify the cause of failure. Maybe you need to look for it inside you or in circumstances that you do not control. In any case, you should know this reason. Therefore, you should ruthlessly trace the cause of the failure, as if you are investigating an airplane crash. If you were wrong, find the strength to admit it. You will not restore your self-confidence until you understand what has been done wrong and who should be blamed yourself or circumstances. The success of a person consists also of failures because a person experiments and risks every day, and the more he stumbles, the faster he moves forward. A good rider is not one who has never fallen down. This way, the failure can become your best teacher. In addition, it can teach you such a valuable quality as modesty.
In the end, your leadership competence will be judged not by words, but by actions. People are skeptical of those whose solemn statements and smooth speeches are not backed by his acts. In addition, try to understand what is behind the words of others, and judge them by their actions.