Are you feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to be a great leader? It seems everywhere we look this concept of leadership is being touted as the most important thing you can do in your role, in your business, in your life – and for good reason – but what about those starting out on their leadership journey? Where to begin?
Today I’m going to pare it right back. For all of those leaders out there who are constantly bombarded with huge conceptual ideas of leadership and have no idea what it means or how to get there, you can stop fretting. Because we have to start somewhere right? And you can start with something as simple as having a conversation.
At Being More Human we are passionate about helping humans reach their potential. In particular, we love helping people – regardless of their position or the context – become better leaders. Sometimes we are doing it without the other person even realising.
For instance, much of my working hours can be taken up by giving advice to clients on how to manage their people situations (which is what you would expect from a HR Consultant). What they don’t realise is that by giving them the tools, skills and courage to manage these everyday situations, they are building their leadership capability.
Because what is one of the key leadership traits? Communication of course. As long as it is clear, authentic and regular.
Almost daily I will assist a client in assessing a situation, developing a possible strategy for resolution, and providing the tools for managing it. As these are ‘people’ issues, this inevitably requires a pointed, carefully planned, and honest conversation between the client and the other individual.
This might sound simple, but it is most definitely a practiced skill. Anyone who has had a tough conversation at work knows how daunting it can be. And let’s be honest, it is often avoided for that very reason.
But at the same time, employees expect anyone in a leadership position to communicate clearly and regularly – good, bad or otherwise. Leading through communication means connecting, setting expectations, being seen and heard.
So back to the tough conversations. Typically the client is reluctant, nervous, unsure – all completely normal feelings. But with my support they are able to get through it, and it always puts them on a path to reaching a favourable outcome.
And guess what? That client has just further developed their leadership skills. And that’s all it takes. You too can start building your leadership capability, one conversation at a time.
No huge theory or concepts required. Just pure human connection.
So what about all of the leadership development programs, models and theories out there? They come next. Once you start building your confidence as a leader, you will find yourself motivated to learn more, practice more, and develop more. You will gain greater self-perception, you will find you are able to connect with others and you will definitely notice a more engaged and productive workplace. Those programs and models will start to make so much sense and you will realise you are well on your way to becoming a great and passionate leader.
The best thing about it? Leadership is a lifelong journey, the knowledge and skills to develop are never ending. So you will always feel motivated by continuous improvement.
If you would like to begin – or continue – your leadership journey and would like some support, Being More Human would love to help you. We can offer leadership development programs and training tailored to your needs, which can be as complex and robust as you like, or it might just be having a conversation.