How Do You Hone Your Leadership Craft?
December 2, 2013
Founder of Thin Difference
TopicsChange Management, Leadership Development, Responsibility, Self Development
Doug Conant, former CEO, Campbell Soup, said it many times, and he did again in a recent interview:
“Successful leaders should treat their leadership as a craft to be carefully honed and ever improving.”
Leadership as a craft is an interesting attitude to adopt. Leaders need to continue to grow and develop because times change, people change, and situations change. To lead through change, leaders need to adapt.
To hone our leadership craft, there are many practice we can embrace. Highlighted below are five suggestions as a place to start.
- Start or join a Meetup group. Over a year ago, we started Authentic Leadership Dallas. We now have 8-12 different people who get together monthly from across industries and backgrounds to share their insights and experiences.
- Volunteer regularly. Whatever the organization or initiative, working for a greater cause or helping others in need will make you a better leader.
- Exercise consistently. A healthy body feeds a healthy mind and outlook. Fit leaders benefit from fit exercises.
- Interview someone you don’t know. Through the telephone, Google Hangouts, or coffee conversations, get together with another leader and ask questions about what they have learned and how they have approached situations.
- Mentor ahead. Identify one or two individuals from Gen Y and spend the time the guide their leadership development. Younger generations need a sounding board of experience, and you can provide that platform.
Gain more insights on leadership as a craft here.
I love the notion of leadership as a craft. In my mind, a craft can be learned but there is also an art to being a craftsman. The connotation is that one’s leadership is a diamond in the rough. Hopeful thought…
I’m thinking of applying for a managerial position someday, but the thing is, I’m still not ready for it, which is why I’m thinking of attending an executive leadership coaching program that may help hone my leadership skills. Well, I’ll make sure to attend an organization or volunteer to an event that may contribute to my growth as a leader. You’re also right about the advantage of interviewing a leader and ask about his experiences.