By Rick Melmer – Leadership Coach
Over the course of my professional life, I’ve learned that you must re-invent yourself from time to time. You know, switch things up – sing a new song – take on a new challenge. At the age of 59, I’m beginning a new venture as a Leadership Coach who works with leaders within organizations to help them develop stronger leadership skills. While I’ve had the opportunity to serve in leadership capacities, learning how to be a leadership coach is a different skillset. It’s about less telling and more asking – it’s about solving fewer problems and helping people solve their own problems. This new opportunity has required me to gain KNOWLEDGE in some key coaching and teaching areas. So how does a leader gain the critical knowledge needed to be successful? I’ve reflected on how I’ve learned over the years and identified six key ways that we can gain knowledge as leaders. I hope these are helpful for you.
- Read – I love to read and it inspires me to improve. Are you taking the time to read materials that help you? Learn from authors who have learned from their experiences.
- Plead – Asking good questions can be hugely beneficial if you want to learn something new. Who do you know that could help you be more effective in your leadership role? Ask that person to meet for a cup of coffee or lunch. Prepare questions to ask them about leadership issues of interest to you.
- Lead – If you want to learn how to lead – get involved! Find ways to lead a cause, committee or initiative and gain valuable leadership experience in the process.
- Bleed – Some of my best lessons are gained from my errors. Do you learn from your mistakes? The best leaders will say that their best lessons came from their mistakes or failures.
- Heed – This may seem like a shameless plug – but I’m beginning to understand the benefits of a trusted coach/mentor or friend. Mentors or coaches can be a huge help to a leader. Find someone who has the time, ability and knowledge to invest in you. Take the initiative to set regular meetings to learn from this person.
- Weed – If you want to remain current in your work – you need to pay attention to trends in the profession and learn to “adapt and adopt”. You may not be an “old dog” but we should all be open to “new tricks” or strategies that could improve our effectiveness.