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Building and Empowering the Leader Within
25 April 2017
Empowerment to take control of your goals, choices, career and path towards leadership starts with understanding your strengths and weaknesses.
To empower yourself with the knowledge and to seek the right tools necessary to develop your career into a leadership position it is important to start with self-assessment. For many, this is can be confronting and can be a difficult process because after all we are our own worst critic and judge ourselves harshly (sometimes too harshly).
The first required is for you to step outside of your comfort zone.
Stepping out of your comfort zone
One trait that sets a great leader apart from others is that they tend to be lifelong learners in their pursuit of excellence. Many choose leadership coaching to help them step out of their comfort zone which helps then with a degree of confidence.
It’s important to not be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone and learn new ways of doing things. That's what helps to further develop your skills.
It is usually uncomfortable to stop doing things the way that they have "always" been done, but it is absolutely necessary for growth. So, stick with it during this difficult period of transition and embrace change.
Evaluate your performance
You can learn more about how others perceive your leadership style and your level of effectiveness by talking with a mentor or associate that you trust.
Seek feedback from those you trust
Ask these connections to evaluate your performance:
- Are you decisive?
- Do you have and know what is needed to take action in situations where leadership is required?
- What are your strengths?
- What are you best known for?
- Can others count on you during a crisis?
- What leadership traits and skills do you need to work on improving to increase your leadership abilities?
Shrink the gap
Once you have evaluated your own performance, compare it to the feedback that you received from your trusted advisors.
- How do these perceptions match up?
- Do others agree with your opinion?
- Is there a gap between your perception of your leadership abilities and their evaluation of your brand?
For most of us, there is some distance in what we view as our personal strengths, and how others perceive our abilities. The good thing is that this gap can be filled.
Seek out role models
One way to strengthen your personal brand, and learn how to be a leader that others trust is to find role models that display the traits and skills that you need to improve on. Observe these leaders and deconstruct what it is about them that sets them apart.
- How do your role models act in specific situations?
- What actions do they take to gain credibility and respect from others?
Use this information to help you refine your personal leadership style.
Seek opportunities to practice your weaknesses and turn them into strengths
In addition to learning new skills and modeling the actions and behaviour of those who have a leadership style that you admire, it's important to seek opportunities to practice the leadership skills to increase your executive presence.
For example, if public speaking is an area that you identified as needing improvement, look for ways to practice talking with others and giving speeches. You might consider volunteering in your organisation to give a special presentation on a topic that needs to be addressed.
Clubs and organisations such as Toastmasters International offer their members opportunities to learn how to improve their speech and put what they have learned into practice.
Attending a leadership training course that focuses on improving public speaking can also be a great way to learn and practice the skills that you need to connect with others and give an attention-grabbing speech.
Now that you know how to empower yourself and define your leadership brand, you have the power to be a strong and influential leader.
Female leadership coaching
One of the best ways to gain the knowledge and experience that you need to improve your leadership brand and increase your executive presence is by enrolling in a leadership coaching program.
Leadership coaches work with leaders one-on-one and provide valuable feedback while offering opportunities to learn, develop and practice critical leadership skills.
Female leadership coaching is especially beneficial for professional women at all levels of leadership who need some extra help in strengthening specific leadership areas and polishing their overall performance.
Athena Coaching offers leadership coaching in Sydney, nationally and online, specifically tailored to suit the needs of female executive leaders. With the support of Linda Murray who is a highly qualified and experienced leadership coach, you will be guided towards accelerated success and improved leadership confidence
If this article has inspired you or raised questions, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below and let's start a conversation.