Developing leadership qualities: How to prevent your career train from derailing

leadership development management

At the beginning or end of the year, professional and personal development is discussed in the regular annual staff appraisals. In many cases, the next steps for individual development are already planned. For managers themselves, this important process rarely takes place.

What is expected?

As a manager, you are usually expected to show initiative on this point, to commit yourself and to keep fit. From a technical point of view, this should be less of a problem for you to recognize what knowledge you need to build up. But what about the personal development of leadership qualities? This contribution should support you in determining your own position and initiating new development steps.

Checklist for location determination

From our experience, managers often respond gratefully when they are offered concrete help in identifying relevant personal development goals.

Based on an idea by Dr. Rolf Th. Stiefel, we offer coaching in which we reflect on managers with the metaphor that under certain circumstances their career development could “derail”. Often what was regarded as “strength” yesterday does not count as such today or tomorrow and previous weaknesses (i.e. something you cannot do, but have not needed before) suddenly become a tangible deficit (something you need, but cannot do).

Work continuously proactively and actively on your development into a “leadership personality of today and tomorrow”. Reflect on all aspects of your leadership personality at regular intervals. The checklist below will help you to explore, test and live your value system.

Inner core of your leadership personality

The following questions will help you to explore the inner core of your leadership personality:

  • What belongs to your inner core as a leader?
  • What makes you personal?
  • What are your basic beliefs?
  • What drives you in the core?
  • What do you reject?
  • What do you draw self-confidence from?

Middle core of your leadership personality

The following questions will help you to derive your personal values:

  • Which values are important to you as a leader? (e.g. order, performance of duty, politeness, prestige, etc.). Make a collection of the most important values for you.
  • Which values would you like to represent to your team?
  • Prioritize the values that you consider to be particularly important in relation to your team.

Outer core of your visible leadership personality

  • What exactly do you do to live your personal values? Make a concrete implementation list that others can use to see how you implement your personal values.
  • For example, do you always arrive on time when this value is important to you? How can you concretely show the other values? If integrity and team cohesion are important, then the rule of not talking about absentees applies, especially not negatively.
  • For the value of honesty, for example, you can establish the rule of “keeping confidential”. The value of taking responsibility for my team can lead to the rule of “doing unpleasant things yourself”.
  • Formulate your values in the form of e.g. the “10 Commandments” of your visible leadership personality.

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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