Leadership – How to develop yourself to be the leader you need and want to be | Part one

female leaderBy Nicki Gilmour, Executive Coach and Organizational Pyschologist

One of my favorite books on leadership and women at work generally is called “Act Like A Leader, Think Like a Leader” written by one of my most admired academics, Herminia Ibarra from INSEAD. Why I like her book so much is that it is practical yet deeply rooted in a subject her and I both have passion for. What is that? Organizational learning and leadership development work.

In fact, one of her sub chapters in the book on how to be a great leader is called,”Steal Like An Artist”. She states that nothing is original and we have to stand on the shoulders of giants to keep evolved concepts and ideas. True to that, the book itself encompasses many of the best theories from other top academics so you get to read it all on one place as well as read Herminia’s insights which I think are top notch. So since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I am going to endorse and share with you over the next two weeks in this column what Ms. Ibarra has to say on being more of a leader, being authentic as a leader and finally ensuring you want to be one.

Let’s start with looking at a self-assessment from her book – do you want to step up? Are you in a career building period? Or a career maintenance or a even a career transitioning period? Note: people come to me to be coached in any of these three stages.

Answer the questions with a yes or a no.

Have you been in the same job or career path for at least seven years?
Do you find yourself restless professionally?
Do you find your job more draining than energizing?
Do you resent not having more time for outside interests or family?
Do you have a changing family configuration that will allow you to explore other options?
Are you admiring folks around you who are making big changes?
Has your work lost some meaning for you?
Do you find that your career ambitions are changing?
Recent events have left me appraising what I really want?
Do you find your enthusiam has waned for your work projects?

If you answered yes to 6-10 statements then you could already be deeply in a career-transitioning period. Make time to reflect on your goals and see if your life goals are evolving also.

If you answered yes 3-5 times then you may be entering a career-transitioning period. Work to increase insights and “outsights” which are new horizons that appear from doing new things and meeting new people.

If you got 2 or less yeses then you are more likely to be in a career-building period in your current job so you are busy working on developing within that role, team or firm.

Ultimately, people often go for bigger jobs when they feel the excitement wane, so if that’s the case, let’s see how we can help you get what you want at work!

If you are interested in hiring an executive coach to help you navigate your career the contact for a no obligation chat.