Reflection is important in our development as leaders. In that spirit, this week we look at 10 things we’ve learned from year one of the Leadership Today podcast.
Hello and welcome to episode 44 of the Leadership Today Podcast where each week we tackle one of today’s biggest leadership challenges. This week is a little different as we look at 10 things we’ve learned from year one of the Leadership Today podcast.
It has been one year since we launched the Leadership Today podcast, and it has been a privilege to play a small part in the development of thousands of leaders. Across the year there have been some stand out lessons about leadership, and also things I’ve learned from producing a weekly leadership podcast.
Here are ten leadership lessons from the back catalogue of 43 episodes that have stood out:
The power of habits - so much of our effectiveness as leaders rests in non-urgent but important activities. Habits allow us to prioritise these activities. This could include routines around planning, reflection, exercise and connections with others. None of these things are ever urgent, so building habits is a great way to ensure they get done.
Mindset matters - taking on a positive growth mindset helps us to make better decisions, to stretch ourselves into new areas, and to develop our capability.
Leaders can’t motivate anyone directly, but they can construct motivating environments - our key role as leaders is to set up and maintain the conditions for success.
Great leaders regularly share the vision and connect it to the things people care about - this requires us to formulate a clear picture of the future and to be interested enough in our people to see how it links to what motivates and interests them.
Influence and assertiveness are the vehicles to making a positive impact - you can have the best ideas in the world, but if no one knows or cares then our ideas are worthless. Fortunately we can all build our influence and assertiveness.
Seek and provide feedback - people can’t grow and thrive in a feedback vacuum. Look for opportunities to provide feedback daily, focusing on the positive more than the corrective. And make sure you surround yourself with people who can provide feedback to shape your own development.
Resilience is partly about people and partly about environments - as leaders we can create toxic work environments that undo even the most resilient person, or we can craft work environments that foster resilience. So many organisations are rolling out resilience programs in an attempt to toughen up their people, when the real problem rests in job design and organisational culture.
Learning is both hard and motivating - anyone can become a great leader, but it takes effort and you never truly ‘arrive’. If we continue to stretch ourselves, there’s always moments of conscious incompetence and feeling clumsy before we become good at something.
Take time to reflect - regularly review how you’re spending your time, and how that aligns with your values and what matters to you.
Create a legacy - investing in the next wave of leaders makes you a far more effective leader. There is so much we can learn from our people - we don’t need to be the ones with all the answers, but we do need to demonstrate interest in and invest in our people.
Hopefully there’s something amongst those lessons that has resonated with you. I encourage you to step out and try something new - don’t die wondering. Have a great week, and I look forward to sharing the next year with you as we continue to develop our leadership together.