We’ve all had an experience working with a boss whose technical skills are unquestionably impressive, but whose social fluency could use some work. Or perhaps we’ve had a colleague who creates a positive team dynamic, but whose subject matter expertise is limited. While both of these individuals bring value to the workplace, they lack the well-rounded skill set that defines an effective modern leader.
People aren’t born leaders, they become leaders. A Whole Leader cultivates both their technical capabilities as well as their people skills and learns how to bring all of themselves to the job at hand. We all have the potential to become Whole Leaders, but we don’t all have access to the tools that we need to get to that point. Here are three questions to help you get started on your Whole Leader journey.
1. Are you self-aware?
Working toward self-awareness isn’t a new idea, yet it often remains a steep barrier to our successes in life, especially when we get stuck in one way of thinking. Limiting how we view ourselves and the world around us ultimately limits our ability for self-growth. To start on your path to self-awareness, be adaptable and allow yourself to reframe your perspective. Uncovering insights into who you are, how you work, and your personal driving forces are crucial steps along your leadership development journey.
2. Do you practice how to think over what to think?
Once you take those first few steps into your leadership journey you’ve already started the work of moving from learning what to think to growing your capacity of how to think. This shift takes you from statically addressing problems through rote methods to dynamically creating solutions through deep understanding. Knowing how to think is especially critical as the nature and frequency of the problems that we encounter continue to evolve.
3. Are you cultivating new skills?
Becoming a Whole Leader is more than just technical proficiencies and social competencies. While content knowledge and teamwork skills are crucial to being effective in your job, there are additional skill sets that make up a Whole Leader. Personal skills—such as self-awareness, resilience, and stress management—address the importance of being in relationship with ourselves. Looking inward helps us understand and relate to others. On the other end are strategic skills, or our ability to look out far ahead of ourselves. Whole Leaders master skills across the gambit.
As you continue on your personal leadership journey, use these questions as a guide. And to learn more about what it takes to develop Whole Leaders for the future, download our eBook.
Luke Colaciello uses storytelling to support The Regis Company's endeavors in marketing and sales, building brand awareness around human-centered programs that help organizations and their people find their leading edge.