Leading a company or a team is a complex task, no matter if this involves a small or a large number of people. It requires time and experience to develop leadership skills and there are different ways on how to increase your knowledge and understanding of it. For example, there are various providers on the internet who offer, among other things, non-commercial leadership tests and give useful tips on how to improve your skills.
Here are some examples on how to approach training your leadership skills:
Find out more about leadership by using TedTalks (https://www.ted.com/search?q=leadership).
Search and read academic papers about leadership plus adding in your own specialisation (for example Leadership and education).
1. Train individual competencies for better leadership skills
Leadership skills are a combination of many different competences and may also depend on the context you want to apply them in. Therefore, you should decide which individual components you want to train and find according exercises. Let’s say you would like to be more disciplined and decisive:
- You can train discipline by committing to a personal goal like getting up at a certain time and doing a daily exercise routine for a certain period of time. As a next step, apply time-related discipline in your professional life, by being disciplined about working hours, starting and finishing meetings on time, and respecting schedules.
- You can train your decision making ability in everyday situations, as well, by making as many quick decisions as possible. In a restaurant, for example, choose your food and drink within 30 seconds and stick to your decision. Your brain will train itself to become more decisive. Look for other everyday situations in which you can train your decision-making ability. Maybe ask a friend or work colleague to practice it with you and make it a small challenge. Also have a look at the exercises for decision making skills in the trainer.
Try to practice your skills in your everyday life until it becomes a habit. Once integrated into your everyday life, these skills will then naturally enhance your leadership skills and you can apply them in your business.
2. Search for a leadership program that fits your needs
Participating in a guided leadership course makes it easier for you to work continuously and focused on the different components of your leadership ability. There is a wide range of leadership programs available. After you have thought about which aspects you would like to train in the previous exercise, you can now find a program that is tailored to your needs and your level of expertise. You should also decide whether you want to do the training on site or online.
3. Find role models
Gain inspiration from other leaders or other people inspiring persons, e.g. your parent, sibling, friend, teacher, professor, local politician, a famous person etc.
- Learn about your role models. If the leader is accessible, talk directly to them and ask questions and advice about their experiences. Otherwise, read books or reports about your role models and check if there are any talks or online lectures by them and get your information there. Can you develop new leadership strategies with the information that you can apply in your work?
- Specifically identify the leadership qualities that you admire most in your role models: Is it their active listening skills, integrity and trustworthiness, their courage, open-mindedness, believing in their vision, or something else? Reflect on how you would like to develop these qualities in yourself.
- Ask for feedback: Ask your friends, colleagues, partners, employees, etc. what you could improve. This will give you a wider perspective and prevent you from missing “blind spots”.