Some of us have investment portfolios, but we all have a leadership portfolio. What we have in it varies.
The value: Our ability to make decisions, communicate, coach, strategically plan, budget and the many things that leaders do. Have you taken the time to build-up your stock?
In public service we commit to making our communities better. However, we cannot solely rely upon doing things the way that we have always done them. Why not? Our environments have changed. Often drastically! And although our environments have changed in our communities, I am directing your attention to the environment within your own organization.
For example, workforce generational gaps. The generational gaps in smaller agencies may not be so wide. However, in larger agencies the gap can expand five decades. Either way, most agencies will eventually face generational gaps among peers and the leadership ranks. So, why not take advantage of what each generation has to offer?
I am sure that as we were all entering the profession, the tenured folks in our agency probably shook their heads in dismay, questioning the abilities of a newer generation. Tenured team members are going to have law enforcement experience that the newer, usually younger, officers might not have accumulated.
However, the newer generations have a lot to offer—their ability to use technology, ideas for process improvements, health and fitness—and we would be remiss not to take advantage of the things we can learn from them.
Our world has evolved and good leaders avail themselves to learning. What have you done lately to invest in your leadership portfolio?
The best way to lead is to read. Ok, that rhymed. But more to the point: to lead you must learn. What book have you opened up lately that is aimed at self-development? What class have you attended lately that was geared toward developing your ability to make better decisions, communicate more effectively, enhance your emotional intelligence, and/or develop any one of the many skills that make us good effective leaders?
If you think you do not need to improve, you likely have a long road to travel.
LEADERSHIP ZOOM CHALLENGE
We often learn something new—and then fail to commit to putting what we learned to use …
Find a topic of interest to you that is geared toward your self-development, read about it or take a class that emphasizes the concept, and then try putting it to use. Make it part of your routine. You may be amazed at the difference you can make for yourself and others in the workplace.
A leader that is interested in self-development is interested in becoming a better leader. We all need to learn from others, and our road to becoming a more effective leader will be that much more enjoyable, I promise!