How Do You Hone Your Leadership Craft?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Volunteer regularly. Whatever the organization or initiative, working for a greater cause or helping others in need will make you a better leader.
  3. Exercise consistently. A healthy body feeds a healthy mind and outlook. Fit leaders benefit from fit exercises.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.