Last week a coaching client told me she was beginning to create a model of leadership for herself in the context of our coaching around professional development goals in several key areas: creativity, proactive communication and strategic leadership.
Her model emerged as we discussed what she specifically wanted to accomplish in each area. We started by talking about what each area meant to her. I felt it was important that the client "owned" these areas and had clarity about their relevance to her. More importantly, that she saw them as an extension of who she was or wanted to be as a leader.
Then we looked at what would be different a year from now if she was successful in each area. For example, in the area of strategic leadership, she identified “new revenue opportunities, new partnerships, new marketing opportunities.”
Next we explored how she would need to be different in order to produce these results. Again, in the strategic leadership area, she came up with “lead from a stance of how I represent the core values of the organization, also how my behavior influences the behavior of others.”
Finally, we began to identify what supports/resources she would need to be successful.
This exploration has resulted in observable changes in her behavior even as we continue to refine her goals.
Why is having one’s own model of leadership a good thing?
- There is no “one size fits all.” You need to find your own way to lead that is a reflection of who you are.
- You can be more intentional about how you behave if you know what you mean by leadership.
- You can decide who else you want to follow if you know what you consider leadership.
- You can develop other leaders in a more deliberate way.
To sum these points up, by surfacing your own model of leadership, you can observe yourself acting, reflect on this actions, refine your approach and share with others...ongoingly. The very process of doing so opens up new possibilities for how you see, act in and impact the world around you.
Trying developing your own model of leadership. Start with some key areas, using your favorite leadership resource. The main thing is to make it your own:
- What does this mean to me?
- What would be different a year from now if I was successful?
- How would I be different in order to make this happen?
- What supports/resources do I need to be successful?