The following is a sample course from the It's Your Ship Navigation Guide. I hope you will enjoy this complimentary lesson. - Captain Mike Abrashoff
Chapter Two: Learn Real Leadership The difference between thinking as a top performer and thinking like your boss is the difference between individual contribution and real leadership. You have to train yourself in leadership and you can’t afford to wait until you get promoted to begin the process. Wherever you are in your leadership journey, be sure to take the time to listen, watch and learn from others.
As you read or review this chapter, consider the following:
What was the one story from this chapter that resonated with you the most? Why?
What parallels do you see in your own leadership style?
What are some specific actions you can implement from this chapter?
Take a moment to listen to Stacey Cunningham talk about how everyone needs to be a leader, no matter their rank or role in the organization.
In today’s world, with all the negative media and news, it can be tough to find great role models – but they’re out there. They can be found in our communities, places of worship, schools and networks. They may be individuals we’ve admired throughout history; someone we’ve read about or a personal connection. These leaders all share something in common: they bring out the best in others and inspire them to do great things.
One of Mike’s mantras is that the answers to your biggest questions reside right outside your door. The same holds true for examples of great leadership. We are surrounded by great leaders every day. Sometimes we just need to stop, watch and admire in order to learn from others.
Listen to Mike share the importance of learning from leaders around you, both good and bad, and how you must seek out opportunities to continually develop yourselves as leaders.
Identify a leader you admire. Reach out and set up a meeting with that person to share how much you admire them and to discuss the traits and attributes that make them so effective.
Here are some potential questions to get your discussion started:
How did you become the leader you are today?
What are the most important traits you feel leaders today need to possess?
How do you define the difference between leadership and management? Where do you spend a majority of your time? How do you balance the two?
What is the toughest part about being a leader that no one ever tells you about?
What do you love most about being a leader?
After your conversation:
Compare what the leader shared with your own vision for yourself and your goals.
Build a plan to embed their ideas into your style; select one idea at a time to work on.
Identify a situation where you could apply lessons learned.
Keep the leader you admire informed of what you learned from them and how you are applying it!
Share your plan with a trusted colleague, your Journey Mates or your leader, so they can give you feedback and encouragement.
PART ONE - FEEDBACK As Mike has identified, one element of being an admired leader is a commitment to providing feedback. Giving feedback is one of the most effective ways to motivate employees to learn and increase their effectiveness in their jobs. Feedback is important because it helps people know where they can do better, and what and how to improve.
But in reality, many leaders are either not doing it right or not doing it enough to realize the power of feedback.
Watch this short video from Stacey Cunningham sharing a simple, yet effective model to help you give both positive and constructive feedback.
PART TWO - FEEDBACK APPLICATION Think of a real-life situation where someone needs feedback from you.
Use the conversation planner to draft your outline of the situation.
The planner includes the elements Stacey discussed, SBI, as well as two additional areas helping you prepare for anticipated responses, identifying questions you may ask as you work with your employee to create an action plan.
To get even more out of this activity, work on this with others to share your ideas and get feedback on your approach.
Set up time with the individual that needs feedback and deliver – ask them for feedback in return.
Click the planner to download the file.
Use these additional thoughts and activities to help you determine actionable ways to take the content from the course and Make it Stick in your own leadership style.
On the first day of each month, pick a leadership trait to focus on for that entire month! Research it, read about and focus on developing that one skill throughout the month. This laser focus will allow you to make incremental changes that have monumental impact!
At the end of the month, make a list of your direct reports and identify the specific feedback you have provided. Are there both positive and necessary feedback examples for each person? If not, consider why that might be. Make a plan for providing equitable and needed feedback for the upcoming month.
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