Friday, June 22, 2012

Leadership... Learned or Developed?

One of the key focus areas at PW&WCBA is Elevating the Role: From Manager to Leader. So how does one go about learning and actively building leadership skills?

Leadership skills, as with any skillset can be learned. However, being a true leader is an inherent skill, one that is ingrained; similar to talented painter. Leadership develops through experience, opportunities and mistakes. Rarely does one start their career out as a CEO or President of a large corporation. With that, you have to build upon your knowledge and raw talent.

Through my personal experiences both as a leader and working for some incredible leaders as well, I’ve found that communication is KEY… Setting expectations before a task, taking out the guess work and incorporating a timeline helps alleviate the stress of a task. There is no need to reinvent the wheel with every new assignment.

Of course every individual works differently, and a true leader recognizes that in their team. Allowing a team member to work and hopefully thrive in an environment where they are not micromanaged, but supported, is essential. Finding a balance where a team member can contribute, grow and further build on their own skillset, while contributing to the task at hand, allows not only the individual to grow, but also the leader to effectively manage a team.

Furthermore, an open environment where ideas can be shared, team members can collaborate, feel supported and provided the tools/resources necessary for success, ultimately builds trust, and team integrity. The ability to build a team environment that operates seamlessly with dynamic synergies takes experience and know how on the part of a dynamic leader. Nonetheless, a leader who has the leadership skills to build such an environment truly holds the leadership skills necessary to build a trusting team that will also support a dynamic leader.

Peter Sloane is currently a cross divisional Project Manager at IIR USA and has manged projects within Change Management, Communications Campaigns and Employee Development.


Michelle said...

On building leadership skills, I really liked this suggestion from James Citrin, a CEO recruiter in this recent WSJ article:

"glean additional clues by keeping a journal based on workplace observations of executives with authoritative presence...Imitate their behaviors "that feel comfortable and natural for you"

stacie28 said...

Certain leadership skills are absolutely necessary to be a great leader today. At a leadership training organized by, I've learned that integrity, humility, creativity, fairness and assertiveness are essential qualities of a good leader. If you have these characteristics, then you will surely succeed in your career!