In my last post I talked about how the ways we learn leadership are typically haphazard. We read books, go to conferences, and try our best to implement what we learn. Few of us have people in our lives who can really give us objective input about our leadership. The problem is, every skill -- whether playing piano, throwing a football, or leading -- needs practice and informed input to improve.
So, how do we apply this to leadership? First, we need to be willing to allow someone to observe our leadership in action. Whether it's a boss, a leadership coach, a peer mentor, or a consultant, we need that objective view of what our leadership "sounds" like. For ease of communication we'll call this person your "coach" for now.
After we've identified the issue we want to address, weneed to determine how we will practice. Is the issue leading more effective meetings, communicating more clearly, making better decisions? What steps will we take this week to help ourselves improve?
Finally, our coach needs to be able to return and observe a second time to monitor progress, make follow-on recommendations, and tweak any areas where we've gone off-plan. This partnership with an outside person is invaluable and necessary if we really want to become the leaders God's created us to be. We simply weren't designed to do it on our own.
How about you? Who do you look to to provide the objectivity and informed input that you need as a leader?