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Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Continuing to Grow in Your Leadership Career

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Truly great leaders never stop developing their careers. There is always room to grow and adapt. Improving your skills in this area benefits both you and your team, and can potentially advance your company to the forefront of its industry.

How do top leaders manage their responsibilities and continue to advance their skills, management style, and careers? First, they assess their existing expertise to discover strengths and weaknesses. Then, they find the best approach to improve their needs.

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Better Leader?

Your first step is to take ownership of your future career. It does not serve you to believe you are entitled to a promotion or advancement based on your current work history, particularly if you do not feel like you are moving forward. To be a better leader, you must be proactively improving your skills and ability to adapt to challenges that impact your work, team, or company.

Once you take the step to move forward and sharpen your leadership abilities, examine the qualities that make a leader successful to see how you measure up, especially when managing teams. These traits include: 

       Showing your team that you care about their needs. It’s important to listen to your employees’ concerns to improve productivity and team communication.

       Allow everyone to contribute by delegating tasks appropriately and share the credit equally. When mistakes are made, be willing to focus on finding a solution rather than assigning blame.

       Guide your team clearly but avoid micromanaging them.

To improve in these areas, learn new ways of managing your team. Just remember that there is always room to grow even if you feel adept as a leader. Some ways you can achieve this include advancing your education, updating your leadership style, and becoming a more innovative leader.

Advancing Your Education

Successful leaders may think it’s a waste of time to advance their education, but there are degree options that can provide you an edge in your career. An executive MBA (EMBA) is an excellent choice for mid-career leaders who already have plenty of work experience under their belts. Some of the benefits it provides include:

       Networking with other professionals can increase your business connections.

       Refine and adapt your current skills to fit high-level business opportunities, such as moving from a regional leader to a global executive.

       Growing confidence for jumping into entrepreneurship.

Investing in an MBA can be costly and time-consuming, but flexible options such as online and part-time programs can help you develop the skill set you need in a manageable framework. 

Updating Your Leadership Style

In 2020, the business world had to adapt on the fly as the pandemic forced many companies to radically alter their working standards. Successful leaders updated their management style for today’s business market. This is especially crucial if you’ve been in management for many years.

Here are some ways that you can update your leadership techniques for today’s marketplace.

Focus on Employee Development

It’s become critical for managers to put employees more top of mind by becoming more sensitive to their needs and concerns. And, just as you want to advance your career, your team members feel the same way. Fostering employee development is a critical way to foster employee engagement, loyalty, and productivity.

The modern business world is constantly changing and adapting. Help your team stay ahead of the curve by offering flexible learning options and development activities that help them grow too. Regular group learning is a good way to support employees and strengthen relationships.

Another way to build team rapport is with extracurricular team-building activities that build trust and loyalty. These can even include outdoor challenges or online problem solving. By focusing on employee development, you can have great confidence that your staff won’t seek that encouragement elsewhere.

Foster an Inclusive and Flexible Workplace

Today’s workers expect to operate in an inclusive environment to feel empowered and take ownership of their work. This may mean, for example, rethinking the workspace to take down barriers and creating an open floor plan. Better employee engagement and team building is a benefit of this type of redesign.

Diversity in business is also critical and can even improve company performance overall. This means including people of all races, genders, and ages when building a team. It also means ensuring that people with disabilities can be hired and accommodated.

Another option that has become more widely accepted since the pandemic is offering employees flexible work options. Allowing team members to work remotely has been shown to improve productivity. Experience in managing several remote teams is a key skill all leaders need to have in today’s marketplace.

Become an Innovative Leader

Employee development and inclusivity are just two aspects of creating an adaptive business culture with 21st-century leadership. An adaptive culture supports flexible options for employees, promotes transparency in leadership, provides an atmosphere of growth for team members, and supports business sustainability. Start by making these improvements in your teams.

Once you have gained some traction, share how your team improved with upper management. You may need to convince management to make these innovative changes. It’s best to have proof of success on hand when doing so but taking charge in these areas will make you stand out as a forward-thinking leader in your firm. 

Continued growth in your leadership career is always possible. By advancing your education, updating your leadership style, and becoming more innovative in your approach, you can become a top leader in your field. Help your company reach new heights as you advance your expertise.  

About the Author: Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but technology and business topics are his favorite. When he isn't writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.

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