Man helping another man up

Leading an organization or a department consists of many moving pieces. You are simultaneously responsible for delivering results, accounting for the bottom line, and setting a vision well into the future, all the while being expected to improve team performance.

It’s a daunting task. And yet many executives and senior leaders feel that it is a sign of weakness to ask for help, fearing that publicly seeking professional development opportunities with diminish their authority. Or, they’re too busy to stop and think about developing themselves. They’re told it’s acceptable to seek opportunities for their team. No one denies that improved team performance brings results. But thinking about improving yourself? We question whether it is an efficient use of our time.

It’s a vicious cycle. Leaders who do not actively pursue development opportunities minimize their growth and unintentionally limit their prospects for success. Your ability to lead others is only as good as your ability to be the leader of you. Before you can maximize your leadership potential with others, you must be well-led yourself.

Personal growth is fostered when we are connected to resources outside ourselves. We need external infusions of motivation, ideas, and feedback in order to not become stagnant. Engaging with others stimulates ambition and links us into networks of knowledge that enlarge our world.

This can be overwhelming. So what is a leader to do? How can you balance achieving business results with realizing the ultimate result – a better you?

One option is Professional Coaching. Calling on an external consultant can provide a fresh perspective and help you harness the talent within your group. They can help you identify development needs. They provide regular, unbiased feedback and support. They’re an accountability partner.

But more than anything, they’re a thought partner. Many of our Emergenetics Associates are independent coaches. And we hear over and over again that some of the most exciting work they do is helping industry experts to strategize how they can best help their organization achieve high levels of success.

According to Fortune Magazine, “Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them. Clients say coaching brings out their best by helping them focus, break down tasks and clarify their values.”

The key benefit to having a dedicated coach is the structure they bring. It gives a sense of direction, accountability, and allows us to measure how we’re doing.

But a leader can also start with regular self-evaluations.

  • Ask yourself, what are the habits of leaders who are constantly learning and growing? What can you emulate?
  • In what areas of the business could you learn and grow more?
  • Are there any areas where we have stopped growing?
  • What are my innate strengths and how can I use them benefit myself and my team?
  • What zaps my energy and impedes my progress?
  • What one thing will I commit to changing or implementing immediately?
  • What belief or mindset do I need to discard?

Ultimately it all boils down to this- if we are not growing and evolving to meet the challenges ahead of us, someone else will.

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