It is scientifically proven that many leadership skills are inherent, and our society recognises leadership as well worn phrases testify, “a born leader” “natural leader” “looked to by peers” are accolades we pour on favoured individuals.
We can develop some of these inherent skills. however, and enhance our natural ability to communicate well, strategise, understand the bigger picture, develop focus and encourage your team. One essential leadership skill that cannot be developed is COURAGE.
It takes courage to make decisions, and even more courage, to make decisions impacting others, be that your team, your company or the outside world. As a good leader, you know you are making decisions based on imperfect knowledge because no one can predict the future. Some of your decisions may turn out to be great, some may turn out less that brilliant.
We cannot develop courage, but we can develop personal resilience. Let’s look at three ways you can do that:
1 Keep a critical eye: Having a project that succeeds gives you, your team and your company a great boost, But it is equally important to gather feedback from those projects. Which parts went well? which parts were not so successful? How could you improve the experience next time around? This kind of evidence will really help when a project does not run smoothly,
2 Don’t take your work home: Easy to say, but not easy to do. This is more a question of balance. Do you have activities away from work which help you unwind? If you are losing sleep over work problems, if you find you cannot enjoy your weekends, this is now the time to look for ways to relax and forget about work for a few hours without feeling guilty. If you want to know more about how guilt can sabotage read my blog post on guilt here
3 Share the burden: Are those sayings true? “The buck stops here” “It’s lonely at the top”? Yes, but that does not mean that no one else has to take responsibility. A positive way to develop this is to treat your team as potential successors, make sure there are people developing through your team who are prepared to take responsibility under your guidance. If this is not possible, then make sure you have a peer support system, a mentor or coach who can help you evaluate a situation, and make the best possible decision.
I hope these three tips will help you as a leader keep your confidence levels buoyant and develop your Resilience.