Are you the leader you want to be?

What kind of leader am I? More importantly, what kind of leader do I want to be? These are the questions that I often grapple with, resulting in many navel gazing moments.

Now though, I feel comfortable in my own skin, with my own style and with a greater understanding of my own purpose. My reason for this? The International Marketing Leaders Programme.

With so many important lessons at my fingertips, I feel it’s only fair and necessary to impart this wisdom in the hope it may help others on their journey to being the leader they want to be.

The programme focused on how to overcome many of the issues leaders face today – leadership authenticity, self and organisational purpose, resilience, presence and finally those self-limiting beliefs that stop many of us from progressing to our full potential. The combination of lectures by senior leaders, one-to-one coaching sessions and team exercises with fellow participants make this a truly thought-provoking and engaging programme.

Senior leaders shared their personal journeys, challenges and their own take on what makes a “great leader”. Each unique style and story gave me great comfort in accepting that there isn’t one ‘leadership style’ that fits all – as did the extremely diverse group of participants I was a part of.
Here are the 5 lessons I took from the programme, the senior leaders and my fellow participants which I am finding invaluable in my journey as a leader:

1. Be authentic

Know who you are and why you’re here – keep your leadership style grounded in your values and beliefs whilst connecting with a sense of purpose. If you’re going to lead for this purpose by engaging others you can’t fake it so don’t try! Don’t try to change who you are.

2. Set the direction

Leadership is intense and it’s easy to lose sight of why you do what you do. People need meaning and it’s our role as leaders to keep them aware of the bigger picture so make sure you formally structure time in the week for reflection, to remind yourself why you’re here and to be more future-focused. Don’t get bogged down by the minutiae of the day to day. Great leaders set clear direction for people and once that direction is set, repeat, repeat, repeat.

3. Draw on your strengths

Don’t obsess about your areas of development. Whilst it’s important to be aware of gaps or areas where you may not be naturally strong, instead of putting all your energies into improving these, draw on your strengths to help close these gaps so you can focus on making your strengths great! 

4. Keep putting yourself out there

Never stop learning and make sure you put yourself in situations where you are continuously exposed to new thinking, new opportunities and new connections. A leader’s work is never done!

5. And finally, drop the ego!

One of the key roles of a leader is to help their team be at their best and this means being at your best more of the time yourself so be conscious of who you are and how you are when you’re at your best - set the right tone and energy for your team and empower your team to succeed (and sometimes fail).

I’m now 3 months post-programme and am still actively applying the techniques and tools shared to help accelerate mine and my team’s performance. I’m setting the direction and grounding it in both the organisation’s and my purpose. Most importantly though, I am using these lessons to help develop others as they start their own journeys to become the leader they want to be.

Was this another training course where you get back into the office and everything is business as usual? I can happily say “NO” and would recommend this course to anyone looking to become a better leader and unlock their brilliance

If you would like to find out how to apply to our 2018 US, UK or Singapore-based Marketing Leaders Programme, please get in touch.

BRAND LEARNING: Inspiring people. Lifting capabilities. Growing organisations.