Leadership matters, even if you’re not a manager or executive. Leadership skills aren’t just for team managers or leads, though they certainly are important to guide teams, creating policy, and growing your career. But in addition to helping you earn promotions and respect, developing leadership skills can help you grow your entire skillset and connect better with your peers.
No matter where you work or what your job title is, here’s how to grow your leadership skills.
Bookstores, libraries, and Amazon are a huge source of inspiration and guidance. Books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, Good to Great by Jim Collins, and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg are popular books by well-respected leaders across industries that have offered insights into what the most important areas to focus on in developing leadership capabilities.
Podcasts are a great source of inspiration and advice. Plenty of free, easily accessible, high-quality podcasts are led and hosted by business owners, entrepreneurs, authors, influencers, and more and cover topics from business and industry insights to finance advice to conflict resolution to practical tips to practice every day to grow your skillset and professional strengths. Some examples of popular, helpful podcasts include The John Maxwell Leadership podcast and Lead to Win by Michael Hyatt, but it’s easy to find podcasts that fit your interests and industry.
Finding a mentor – someone well-versed in leadership – can be a crucial to developing leadership skills, especially in early to mid-career. Sometimes companies offer formal mentorship programs, but if not, connect with HR to see if there are leaders in your organization who’d be willing to take on a mentee. If there’s a person within your company that you respect or admire, consider reaching out to them and asking if they’d be willing to connect over coffee or lunch to discuss your goals and their advice.
One of the most important leadership talents to develop is the ability to take risks. You can start small by suggesting changes in meetings or proposing a new way to approach a project or a client meeting.
Companies often have internal leadership and development programs that employees can participate in. If these aren’t available, consider reaching out to HR to ask if there is a way to implement a formal training program. This could look like anything from an executive-led book club, regular seminars from influential speakers in the community, or the beginning of a peer development group, like an employee resource group.
If you’re looking to put your leadership skills to work in a new position or want to find a company that can grow and appreciate your leadership skills, get in touch with our team today. We can help you find the right position for the next step in your career.