Through Leiden I have found myself leading a team of incredible people. Each of our team members have different needs and work preferences, and work across a wide variety of roles in varied locations around the country. Although I have developed management and leadership experience in my various day jobs, nothing really prepared me for the skills required to lead a large, flexible team all while growing a publication and hopefully a business from scratch.
It can be difficult to become an effective leader – it takes a lot of work even if it comes naturally to you. With more of us starting our own businesses not all of us have the skills to navigate the leadership roles we find ourselves in. I thought I would ask mine and Leiden’s career guru, Dr Kim Vella, to share with us her top tips for being a strategic leader. Here is what she had to say:
Leadership. It’s a fact of life. A requirement. A responsibility.
The key is to rise above being an ‘ordinary leader’ and into an ‘inspirational leader’. One who will make a massive contribution to your workplace. One who will be remembered by those being led. But how?
Here are some of my top tips:
- Conduct your own research on inspirational leaders, but only through reputable sources, to learn what makes them tick. Explore their characteristics—visionary, innovative, collaborative, entrepreneurial and effective.
- Read biographies and speeches of leaders who inspire you, drawing out what has made them so fabulous. This can be big guns like Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and Rosie Battie.
- Get a mentor who is a leader in their own right; someone who will share their knowledge and expertise and discuss their thinking on what it means to be strategic and nimble at the same time.
- Work with a coach to help unleash your leadership potential and encourage you to develop and refine your leadership capabilities in a way that aligns with your core values.
- Factor in professional learning into your personal development plan at work. This will keep you on a career strategic leadership track and on top of the latest and greatest in the leadership arena.
- Look for important work, not work that makes you look important.
Find out more, particularly if you are part of the Australian Public Service, here.