Own your leadership journey

Own your leadership journey

Early in my career, my focus for working was to have a job with a steady paycheck and good benefits. I didn’t care as much about what job I was doing, much less whether it was aligned with my purpose in life. I couldn’t have told you what my purpose was, or what I wanted to accomplish in my career. I simply rated job opportunities on whether I would make enough money to support myself, have adequate health insurance coverage, and would be able to perform any regular job requirements. I was raised with a strong work ethic. My parents told me to always do the best job I could at whatever job I had, and I would be successful. I entered the working world with that mindset.

A few years into my career, I found myself gravitating to the type of roles where I could work collaboratively with others to achieve goals. I started learning what skills I contributed consistently to my teams, such as being able to see the big picture, dot-connecting, process management and creativity. I took new opportunities to use these skills, but I still didn’t have a career path mapped out.

Eventually, I became a manager. I really liked leading others. At that point, I began to map out my leadership journey. I identified what roles I would like to have and how I would get there. There was still something missing though – I often couldn’t control getting the training I wanted when I wanted it on my own terms. Instead, I waited to be at the right level or the right title or waited until someone told me I was “qualified” for a particular learning opportunity. I felt held back from owning my leadership journey. I was at the mercy of someone else’s arbitrary timeline and rules.  

Unlocking leadership of self
What I didn’t realize early in my career was that I could take ownership of my leadership journey – I just needed to know how. Our working definition of leadership at Seasons Leadership is, “the ability to inspire and motivate yourself and others to action.” Leadership of self is foundational to the ability to lead others. We created Seasons Leadership after asking ourselves the fundamental question: “What more could we have accomplished if we had owned our own leadership journey earlier in our careers?” We believe that the world needs excellent leaders and that leaders must first learn to lead themselves. That includes owning their own leadership journey and practicing sound leadership right from the beginning.

How do you own your own leadership journey?

Get started, wherever you are on your journey. Whether you are early, mid, or even late in your career the important thing to know is that you are a leader, you want to be an excellent leader, and you are the best person to own your own success.  

Take some time to identify and understand who you are as a person and a leader. Write down the answers to these questions:

·      What motivates you?

·      What is your “why” or your personal mission (why you do what you do)?

·      What are your core values that drive how you show up in the world?

·      What do you want to accomplish or where do you want to go – what is your vision for your future?

Warren Bennis said, “Leadership is the capacity to translate a vision into reality.” To lead yourself you must identify what your vision is by defining what success looks like for you at this point in time. Life takes some unexpected twists and turns on our journey so develop the skill now to define your vision for the future.

Here are some practical steps for creating your leadership roadmap.

Step 1: Understand yourself as a person and a leader. Identify your personal leadership triad: Vision (what you want your future self to be), Mission (why you do what you do), and Values (how you show up).

Step 2: Determine your destination. Make this a shorter-term destination than your vision so that you can take actions toward that destination. Also set a realistic timeframe to arrive at that destination.

Step 3: List your gaps. These are the gaps between where you are now and where you want to be. Are you missing certain skills, experiences, certifications, etc.?

Step 4: Identify skills and experiences needed along with any associated requirements.

Step 5:  Plan the actions needed to address each gap and plot those actions on a timeline.

Step 6: Consistently check your progress and make necessary adjustments. Life seldom goes to plan so having a process for regularly checking your progress allows you to adjust to changing situations quickly and easily.

When you create and own your leadership journey you get to decide what works best for you on each step of your journey. With the right tools and practice leaders can become excellent!  

And you don’t need to do this alone. Here are three ways we can help you own your leadership journey:

·      Guide you through our go-at-your-own-pace online leadership course: Elemental Leadership teaches leaders the elements of excellent leadership so they can increase their leadership capabilities and confidence and become more efficient, effective and inspirational leaders at their own pace. This proven course will be launching in just a few weeks. If you would like to get in on this limited opportunity, contact us directly at info@seasonsleadership.com.  

·      Coach you as ICF-certified coaches: we offer one-on-one, personalized coaching to help you take your leadership to the next level. Contact us directly to get started!

·      Connect you to Leadership Development resources: We are committed to making leadership excellence the worldwide standard through developing custom courses for your business, tailored specifically to your needs or individually through our Patreon membership to help you learn and develop at your own pace. Contact us directly to get started!

To get more actionable advice like these tips to creating your leadership roadmap, join our leadership community at: www.seasonsleadership.com. Own your leadership journey starting now!

Designing your career roadmap – Patreon Exclusive!

Invest in Yourself | The Almanac | Seasons Leadership Program

Debbie Collard, co-founder of Seasons Leadership, has 30+ years of leadership experience. She served on the National Baldrige Foundation Board of Directors for 15 years, including as the first female Chair of the Board. She is an iPEC- and ICF-Certified Professional Coach and co-author of The Making of a World- Class Organization, a practical guide for leaders to engage employees and increase profitability. debbiecollard.com

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