13 Ways to Develop Yourself as a Leader

by Kimberly on May 10, 2012

So you’re a smashing success. You’ve got the admiration and appreciation of followers galore. You’ve got not just the dream but the vision of how to get there. You’ve got money in the bank. You practically wink at yourself in the mirror. You’ve got it going on….

But do you?

I don’t know about you specifically, but this world defines success in terms of money, a big house, new car, lush green lawn, and accolades. “Why, I’ve got myself 500-plus LinkedIn followers!”

But real leaders know they never truly arrive at a destination. Success isn’t just about the accomplishment. It’s about the journey. It’s about continually developing oneself in all areas of life, not just the professional side.

So how’s your journey?

Are you growing? Are you continually seeking? Are you seeing all the amazing possibilities in front of you? Though this list is endless, here are some ways you can develop yourself–as a leader, and as a human being.

  • Commit random acts of kindness daily for a whole month. You’ll be surprised by what you’ll learn–about yourself, about the world.
  • Hang out with those you admire.
  • Disconnect from technology for a whole day (yes!). Quiet and reflection leads to creativity. Creativity leads to innovation. Innovation leads to development.
  • Read, read, read. Feed your brain and feed your soul.
  • Create an action plan. Sure, you have one for work. But what about one for all the different areas of your life: spiritual, relational, emotional, physical?
  • Interview those who are already in the place you want to be.
  • Regularly and openly acknowledge others’ strengths and talents.
  • Take risks. You can’t grow if you never fail.
  • Celebrate others’ achievements, even your competitors’! You never know. Strong, advantageous alliances and projects may be formed down the road.
  • Get authentic. You don’t have to pretend to be the kind of leader you’re not. Everyone knows, anyway.
  • Admit your doubts. Admit your weaknesses. Admit you’re human. (Unless you’re an alien.)
  • Ask for feedback from others on a regular basis.  
  • Give more than you take.

Leaders grow and bring along others for the ride. Are you celebrating the journey? Or are you resting in your accomplishments?

Just curious, but what other ways do you think leaders can develop themselves? Put your answers in the box below.

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