We need to adopt an approach to establishing and maintaining our leadership development progress – how we set goals and create personal habits that will result in a routine that is more likely to help us to meet program requirements and achieve the results that we deserve.
We need to sit down regularly and review our progress and goals in order to reshape, rewrite, and redesign our leadership development program. We need to be honest about the efficacy of our efforts. We need to be willing and able to modify all aspects of our program. All of this means that when we invest time and focus into our leadership growth, our purpose is clear, our practice is the best it can be, and our process is constantly being refined as we go. We need to demonstrate the willingness to exercise adaptive expertise and self-efficacy to improve what we do as a leader on The Pathway to Excellence.
This means we need to set aside time regularly to review the efficacy and impact of our leadership program on our own growth and development as well as the positive impact on those around us. Do we feel that we are constantly learning and being challenged? Are we developing new tactics and skills that have genuine applications in our lives? How are we growing as a leader, and is it helping us to be a good person? This process of review involves us taking a step back from what we are doing, and assessing whether or not it is working in the way we intended when we started. Different practices and programs will influence our leadership and learning styles in different ways. Without review, we may spend time and energy on a process that isn’t working as it should.
We also need a clear idea of the standards and expectations against which we are measuring our leadership. The challenge of review always comes down to separating process from our own personality. There are always soft and hard markers in life; many successful leaders are too tough on themselves, although this is not always the case. We need an objective, evidence-based way to understand whether or not we're actually growing as we ought to in our leadership. It also helps for us to establish these parameters in advance so that the passage of time does not interfere with our capacity to celebrate wins and tackle obstacles when appropriate.
"Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar."
In this sense, we need to be honest with ourselves and others about our progress and whether or not it’s working. Trying to mould ourselves into a program or course that is the wrong fit can't work. If we're not making progress, we can change ourselves, we can change our program, or a combination of both of these. We may even need to reconfigure our program all together if what we have in place now just isn't doing the job.
Part of being leader is about recognising when things go right, and when they do not – especially when the topic at hand is our own progress. This honesty should be married up with research, creative thinking, and and a willingness to take advice from people who either are engaging in a similar process, or have engaged in one in the past. In this way, we can adopt a responsive process towards ensuring that we make the best progress possible. We can also continue to evaluate our success against the milestones that we will have established for developing our leadership competencies at the beginning of our journey.
We can contemplate our Leadership Development Progress by considering the following questions: