Busting The Myths Of What It Really Takes To Be A Great Leader
Would you be a good leader? Do you have what it takes? Do you view leadership as full of perks or littered with sacrifices?
At Elevate Talent we’ve discovered that many women shy away from leadership roles because they think they come at a high price. They already feel stretched to the limit in their careers (and home life) and see leadership as an additional source of pressure and responsibility.
Because they have the wrong impression, they frequently put the brakes on their own career progression.
In this month’s Elevate Talent session, the Art of Leadership, we’ll be digging into the truth about:
- When leadership really starts (hint, it’s not once you have a team of people reporting to you).
- What it means to be a leader.
- Recognising and developing the skills you need to be a great leader.
Leadership is a life skill not just a career skill. There is no escape from it, and it doesn’t have to be hard. Often leadership is about successfully transitioning valuable skills you already have into the workplace. However, when women decide to maintain the career status quo (and don’t even apply for promotion) and base that decision on the myth that leadership is a major step up in terms of responsibility, they are doing themselves a disservice.
Conscious, informed choices need to be based on the facts, knowledge and understanding of the qualities and tools required to be a great leader.
It isn’t possible for everyone to be the chief executive officer or top tier management; we need people at all levels for an organisation to function. However, the choice to remain at the level where you are, or to step up (or make a sideways career move), must be based on the truth of what it means to be a leader.
Even if women have attended leadership training programmes in the past, it’s likely they’ve been let down.
Most leadership training courses fail to produce great leaders, because they overlook the point at which an individual becomes a leader. They revert to outdated models of learning that are similar to our early school days, which makes participants impatient to find a shortcut and leap ahead. When we feel that we already know the information, we are eager to get to what we perceive as “new”, but without the key fundamentals in place we will not be a good leader.
To be effective, training has to go far deeper and explore who we are as individuals.
Replicating a scholarly learning method in the business world will not produce the desired result (great leaders); there is likely to be a big difference between what we think we know and our follow-through actions (our behaviour).
In our training programmes at Elevate Talent, we go right back to the beginning and retrain women on how to learn (and what they really need to learn).
We work closely with coach and leadership trainer Julia Carter who uses the Insights® Discovery Tool (psychometric testing) to help members go deeper into their own personalities and leadership styles, so that they can form better relationships and become more effective in their jobs.
My Insights® profile shows that I “dial up” specific aspects of my personality when I need to perform at a higher level; this knowledge supports me to be a better leader.
There is a lock that needs to open for people to become better leaders. The training at Elevate Talent provides the key, and it’s rarely what people expect.
It’s time for women to redefine what it means to be a leader, when it starts and how to get there. This information will support them to recognise their own skill set and make informed decisions around whether or not to break through the ‘self-imposed glass ceiling’ (the thought that being a leader is too much extra pressure) and pursue a leadership role.
Take a few moments to reflect on whether you have ever held yourself back from promotion because you associated leadership with extra work or sacrifice. Pay attention to your thoughts and how they will impact the future of your career (either positively or negatively).