Many companies fall short of providing the training and mentoring required to transform technical or functional specialists into capable leaders. If you want to become as skilled at leading others as you are at solving technical problems, the best place to start is through self-directed leadership development. This entails determining what you want to be able to accomplish differently as a leader and why this growth is important to you, expanding the lens through which you view your leadership problems, soliciting feedback, and trying with new behaviours.
The capacity to solve technical problems contrasts dramatically with the ability to manage people. The following are the fundamental issues that have been observed during the last few years:
- People are elevated to leadership positions because they have technical or functional skills and experience that allow them to perform well in their technical area, but these skills and expertise do not transfer into successful leadership. They struggle to motivate, coach, co-create, and establish commitment to a common vision among their teams, as well as to increase ownership and responsibility.
- Many companies fall short of providing the training and mentoring required to transform technical or functional specialists into capable leaders. In their incentive systems and culture, they also fail to prioritise good leadership. They contribute to the gap between leaders' actual and potential effectiveness by not properly expressing what successful leadership looks like in practise, appreciating it, and giving organised chances to improve at it.
- Managers frequently make erroneous assumptions about leadership and fail to recognise their own role in the problems they face. As a result, individuals frequently misdiagnose the problem, go astray in their search for answers, and fall back on unproductive behaviour. As leaders, they are unable to learn and evolve.
- Organisations and their people suffer as a result of ineffective leadership actions.
One of the characteristics that distinguishes individuals who lead from those who just hold leadership roles is a strong commitment to lifelong learning and development. The greatest leaders make it a habit to question oneself, to believe that there is always more to learn, to seek feedback, and to arrange their own learning opportunities. Here's how to go about it.
First, decide which leadership skill you'd want to improve.
An important step is to shift your emphasis from the external problem that's troubling you to the internal growth you'll need to address it. Technological professionals sometimes try to "fix" others instead of recognising their own involvement in the problem when using the same sorts of thinking to leadership challenges that they've successfully applied to technical problems. You'll find yourself in the same predicament over and over unless you get insight into how you're thinking and behaving patterns connect with those of your colleagues. Your assessment of the leadership problems you confront will be incomplete, and your plans to address them will be inadequate.
Consider what's important to you about achieving your goal and why you want to achieve it now to boost your drive to study and improve.
Second, just like you would while trying to solve a technical problem, reflect and seek advice to better comprehend the situation you're encountering. You will nearly always benefit from examining others' viewpoints and asking comments to assist you improve your analysis of the situation.
Third, utilise your newfound knowledge of the issue and your own involvement in it to pinpoint particular behaviours that need to be altered or implemented. It's also a good idea to get recommendations for actions from individuals you know.
Leaders who engage in self-directed learning not only enhance their abilities, but also serve as role models for learning, openness, and personal accountability. Communicating what you're attempting to change and soliciting comments or feedforward can help you get support for your improvement efforts, which can help them have a greater effect. You're considerably more likely to succeed with this strategy than if you try to address leadership difficulties by pushing a solution on someone else.