Hmm. Developing the next level leader.
That statement contains layers of intrigue. But what does it really mean? Does it mean I'm searching for a new rung on the ladder of success so we can shuffle people around? Does it mean I'm brainstorming to come up with fancy new job titles for everyone? Does it mean I'm upping the competition so employees have to work harder just to beat the person across the hall?
No. It simply means that I am looking for new ways to expose the true potential in the next level leader in each individual.
It is possible for those who lead to become to comfortable in the roles they play each day. Once the routine becomes routine there is very real risk of "leadership atrophy" that can begin to form.
Exposing the next level leader requires a "muscle confusion" of sorts in order to build lean leadership attributes. It becomes to cliche to simply say, "get out of your comfort zone". What really needs to happen is a deliberate, well-calculated drive into a new zone that will expand your sphere of influence.
Here's how you can explore the next level of leader within yourself.
- Amplify your reach . To amplify means to increase in volume. Examine your current role and the current reach you have within your organization. To amplify your reach you must identify areas that will challenge you in a new way. This does not mean changing roles completely (although it could) When you find new areas to amplify your reach you will begin to unlock new next level attributes.
- Multiply your reach. This is all about mentoring. Everyone needs a mentor, and next level leaders should BE one too. My suggestion would be to have an internal and external mentor to bring added perspective to life. Remember, "Two are better than one"
- Qualify your reach. As with anything in life, there is always additional learning that needs to happen with growth. Take an inventory of your current knowledge and find one area you can expand. Additionally, identify a new topic of knowledge you can explore. Something new, different, and interesting. Take a class, go back to school, get a new certification. Always be in the mode of learning something new. NOW...find someone to teach what you know! That is next level.
Who is the next level leader within yourself? It's time to call that talented, successful individual to the forefront and watch what happens next.
*Red Stairs image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net, by samuiblue
*Woman on Ladder image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net, by Ambro