As a new decade begins, we look towards the future with a certainty that change will be present for us in some way, although we are yet to know how.
Change brings with it challenge. Issues that cannot be solved amongst our stakeholders and direct reports get passed up to us for resolution, operational and institutional challenges get passed down to us for implementation, and personal challenges nestle in the mix too. As leaders, operating in this uncertain world it would make sense to be on standby for another challenge to tackle beyond the current one.
Positivity is not usually the first quality someone asks for in a leader, however a positive attitude is a vital force when it comes to motivating people. Positive teams who enjoy their work are generally more productive and engaged, and this stems from the top.
Confident, supportive leaders breed more collaborative and creative teams, and that makes a very attractive workplace for drawing in new talent. Being positive is contagious, and a team with a collective positive attitude is more likely to go above and beyond for a leader, and workplace that they are happy and proud to be a part of.
As leaders, we sometimes treat our leadership style as a product of our environment and corporate culture, rather than as a product of ourselves. Our leadership is a personal matter though, much of it stems from within and is influenced by things personal to us. Our experience, our ideas, our knowledge.
Understanding our personal leadership brand is an integral part of how we build consistency in our professional relationships and how we are perceived. Just as failed commitments and substandard interactions damage a corporate brand, our personal leadership brand suffers alike.
The motivation to become a leader in your field can come at any stage in your career. Perhaps you are just starting out and have a clear vision of where you want to progress to in your role; or maybe your own leader has approached you out of the blue with an opportunity. If you are ambitious and know that leadership is a goal for your future, it would be good to be able to answer the question – what is it about being a leader that’s important to you? Are you keen to inspire others, pass on your own experiences, or help a team achieve something great together? The right motivation will ensure that when things get tough, and they most likely will, that you will want to remain in your leadership role. The desire to be a good leader, and to succeed in a new, more accountable role is a powerful motivator and a key part of deciding if you are ready to lead others.
As leaders, we face many challenges. Often times they’re operational, financial, or are to some degree, external challenges. Sometimes though our greatest challenges can come from within.
In 1978 Dr Pauline Clance and Dr Suzanne Imes published "The Impostor Phenomenon in High Achieving Women" In it, is described the phenomenon of someone perceiving intellectual phoniness or fraudulence within themselves.
Over time more has been understood about this condition, now often referred to as Imposter Syndrome, and the types of people it affects.
For many professions, continuing professional development (CPD) (usually technical) is seen as a necessity, a vital part of work and individual development. The Law Society of Scotland sets out that Scottish solicitors have to do a minimum of 20 hours’ CPD a year, and Scottish teachers recognise its importance with 35 hours’ CPD expected a year.
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