Mastering leadership: 5 skills to develop throughout your life
Leadership development is a long-term process. It is a journey that promises personal changes that impact on your professional life and allow you to be recognised as a leader. Here are 5 skills to work on throughout your life to improve your leadership capabilities.
Know yourself better: a core leadership skill
Personal development is the foundation of a leader’s skills. Before you can gain the trust of your employees, you have to know yourself inside out. To start with, make yourself aware of your thought patterns, your mental models, your operating mode, the biases that influence your reasoning. This allows you to make better decisions, to better regulate yourself and to adapt more easily to all situations.
This self-knowledge must be refined throughout your life. It will bring more fulfilment and serenity at work and in your personal life. So, if you want to learn about leadership, choose a program that focuses on personal development at the beginning.
To get to know yourself better, choose training courses that include the following themes: self-knowledge and mental models, self-esteem and self-confidence, emotional intelligence, assertiveness and self-assertion.
Understand others and change behaviours
One does not become a leader alone. The role of the leader is to work in a relationship with others. Thus, one of the characteristics of leadership is the ability to influence. The best leaders have a good knowledge of human psychology, sociology and communication. This awareness helps them better understand others and to adapt to everyone they interact with.
Their open-mindedness allows them to work with a wide variety of employee profiles. They are often pioneers in the field of inclusion. They allow everyone to be their true selves and to flourish at work. Sometimes, they even manage to change the way people are represented in their organisations.
To be a leader, you must constantly improve your communication and persuasive techniques. Finally, to make things happen and help your employees succeed collectively, you need to know the main drivers of collaborative work and collective intelligence.
To learn how to better understand others and change behaviours, choose training on the following topics: interpersonal communication, intercultural management, intergenerational management, diversity management, inclusive management, collaborative work, collective intelligence.
Understand and act on your environment
The future of organisations depends, in a systemic way, on the evolution of its environment. Policy must move in line with the environmental and societal challenges of today and anticipate those of tomorrow. It is now imperative that leaders learn to analyse the environmental, societal and social impacts of their strategy and actions.
They must also help their employees and managers rise up to these challenges, and to act accordingly. They must also have the humility to listen to those who know more than they do, especially those most committed to pivotal issues.
On the other hand, technological innovations are developing at a phenomenal speed. Public institutions are not always able to keep up with the pace and regulate their use, whether it be in terms of the use of data collected or the purpose of algorithms for commercial use. It is, therefore, at the organisational level that we can act to offer modes of self-regulation or alternative practices that will influence the use of new technology. This also touches on the integrity of practices and ethical questioning. Here again, a leader who acts conscientiously can be a formidable safeguard and influencer, both internally and externally to their organisation.
To learn how to better understand and act on your environment, choose training on the following themes: strategic analysis, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), ecology and environment, deontology and ethics.
Create value for your organisation
A leader is first and foremost a person who carries and expresses a vision. If his or her primary mission is to create value for their clients and organisation, they must do so while respecting the values that unite the group to which they belong. And they must do so consciously and by regularly questioning their practices in order to adjust to the context in which they are acting.
In this regard, 3 skills can help:
- The ability to define and share a clear strategic vision, despite an uncertain context.
- Learning to evaluate the economic and financial impact of their decisions and actions upon their organisation.
- Develop creativity to constantly open up the field of possibilities and imagine new solutions to the needs of customers and the expectations of employees.
To learn how to create more value for your organisation, choose training on the following topics: CSR strategy, finance, corporate strategy and business planning, operational excellence and continuous improvement, creativity, managerial innovation.
The world is full of uncertainties and is constantly changing, sometimes with very noticeable disruption. This is why managing change and transformation is essential for anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills.
However, managing change means going beyond adaptation to anticipate and act quickly. As a leader, you have to know how to pick up on weak signals, identify major trends and draw on them as sources of innovation. It also means knowing how to turn the best ideas into experimental projects – both with your own ideas and those of others! You also have to know how to defend them in front of the Board, in order to make them a reality, and succeed in getting employees on board to generate creative energy at all levels. The leader must sharpen their analytical and innovative skills and cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset.
To learn how to anticipate changes, choose training courses on the following themes: change and transformation support, innovation management, initiative and entrepreneurship.