Meeting with all levels of leaders in my leadership workshops always brings stories of courage and strength as well as narratives of failure and defeat. Whether we are focusing on being more powerful communicators or finding ways to build an environment of trust,each of the leaders offers their personal experiences to help other participants see different perspectives. While the leaders are growing new skills and knowledge they are also continually adding to their professional development.
If we want to keep evolving into stronger leaders we must be willing to branch out and learn about new concepts and strategies. When we commit to a growth mindset as Carol Dweck explains in her extraordinary book, Mindset The New Psychology of Success, we are able to stay open to unfamiliar ideas. We also can face our failures and mistakes and learn from them. When we think we can grow and don’t think we “know it all”, we can easily stay open-minded to trying new things and taking risks. That flexible mindset can also empower us to keep editing our leadership story.
Here are some strategies to never stop editing your leadership story:
Flex Your Open-Minded Muscle
Sometimes seasoned and expert leaders can get into the headset of thinking they possess all the necessary skills and knowledge to continue doing their jobs the same way. An individual in one of my workshops felt he was so successful up until that point that there was no need to learn anything new or add to his toolbox. But then one of the newer leaders shared a different approach to working out a problem and all of a sudden there was a realization that we all need to remain open to different suggestions. We can learn so much from each other.
Become A Curious Learner
To continually edit our leadership story we need to take on the characteristics of an explorer. So instead of sitting at your desk and following the same routine day in and day out, step outside of your circle and explore.
- See what projects other people are working on
- Take part in a workshop for a skill you may want to refine or learn more about
- Check out new books or authors in your industry
- Have lunch with some new co-workers
Make Failure The Flip Side Of Success
Part of possessing a growth mindset is being able to embrace failure and roadblocks with ease. When we have a fixed mindset we are so stumped when we make a mistake that we have difficulty moving on. We beat ourselves up instead of trying to fix it. So look at your next failure and ask yourself how you can make changes so the next time you will be more successful. Don’t give-up or feel like a failure.
Keep Growing Your Network
To keep our leadership stories evolving we need to keep our networks growing. A big part of our leadership stories involve the people we meet along the way who take an interest in us. Putting into place a networking plan can help us stay focused.
- Commit to taking an online relationship offline and set up a zoom call
- Seek out professional organizations that offer interesting speakers and topics
- Ask current clients who they know who may be interested in your services
- Choose to volunteer in an organization that is meaningful to you
Add Mentoring To Your Skill Set
Finally, a wonderful way to grow our leadership story is by reaching out and mentoring someone. Mentoring partnerships are not just beneficial to the person being mentored. These unique relationships can support the mentor’s growth too. I have watched mentors blossom when they mentor with an added perk of cultivating a deep friendship.
How do you keep editing your leadership story? What additional ways have helped you keep growing your leadership story?
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