On the plane about to take off, I'm sitting in the exit row, and the flight attendant asked us, "Are you ready, willing, and qualified to assist in case of an emergency landing?" Hmmm, I thought. Qualified? I have never had to reload an entire plane because of an emergency landing before. How could I be qualified? This made me think of new managers, those who are promoted or ones hired who have no experience leading people. Yet, we think they are “qualified”! Is that fair? Shouldn’t we do something to prepare them?
People often believe that if they don't feel capable, influential, or experienced enough to be leaders then they aren't "qualified" for the job. However, this couldn't be farther from the truth! Leadership is not only about technical skills and knowledge; it's also about confidence, flexibility, and resilience. An article from CCL says “A good leader should have integrity, self-awareness, courage, respect, empathy, and gratitude.” Despite our own doubts and insecurities about leading others, there is no set mold for what makes someone qualified--each person has their own unique traits that make them a great leader.
Leadership training can have a profoundly positive impact on your ability to lead your organization, team, or project forward. If you feel stuck and unable to develop strategies that bring together both short-term and long-term objectives and shape cultures of mutual respect within your organization, leadership training can help. It offers opportunities to develop the skills to reflect critically upon all the decisions you make, understand and accept different perspectives, delegate effectively, and motivate your colleagues. With all these tools at hand that help you foster meaningful relationships with colleagues while driving results through dynamic decision-making, you’ll be well on your way toward becoming an influential and momentous leader. Leadership training is the perfect stepping stone for you if you've been looking for ways to step up in the type of leader you want to be.
Mentoring or Shadowing
Mentoring or shadowing is a great way to gain knowledge, increase your skill set and make valuable connections. A mentor can help you develop an understanding of the profession you have chosen by providing practical advice and guidance. Shadowing someone in a role that interests you is equally beneficial, allowing you to put the skills learned through self-teaching into practice. With both of these strategies, gaining insight into different approaches can be invaluable for your learning. Don’t forget that mentoring or shadowing requires commitment and dedication, and it can often take hard work and perseverance to receive the maximum results. However, with any effort comes a reward so take the plunge and reap the rewards!
Becoming a qualified leader is an important skill, and peer reviews are a great way to help the process. Providing and receiving thoughtful feedback can bring an understanding of strengths and development opportunities to aid any aspiring leader. Careful consideration of feedback from someone in the same field can be invaluable, as it comes from experience that may not be available outside of your peers. Peer reviews provide a platform for growth and development for anyone looking to build their leadership capabilities, which ultimately promotes self-confidence in workplace decisions.
Acknowledging and Celebrating Other People's Successes
As a qualified leader, I understand how important it is to recognize and celebrate other people's successes. Showing gratitude for the hard work of others not only maintains our relationships, but it's also a great way to boost confidence and soften competition. Each time someone excels, I feel privileged to be around them and acknowledge their success. Through noticing great accomplishments throughout my circles and offering congratulations with warmth, I hope that others can experience the same inspiration and motivation as I do when witnessing successes.
Developing leadership skills requires dedication and thoughtfulness. Qualified leaders are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and how to leverage them for the benefit of their goals or environment. They take initiative and recognize the potential in others, while not forgetting to establish structure and guide their teams. All the methods discussed – rigorous training, mentoring or shadowing, peer reviews, and celebrating successes – can help build strong leadership skills that qualify you as a leader. Take stock of what’s comfortable for you – do you prefer a classroom setting? Or one-on-one meetings? Is public speaking natural for you? Knowing what works best for you is key to nurturing your capabilities. And at the end of it all, it’s important to reflect: What makes YOU a qualified leader? With careful investments into honing your leadership craft, continue to equip yourself with the knowledge and humility necessary to become an effective leader who moves people and brings out the best in them.