Our next participant in the Linked in Leadership development question is Sudarshan Balakrishnan. Sudarshan is a financial analyst in India. In his response to the Linked in question he focused on the concept of planning. I think this is an obvious point that is missed by many and hence wanted to discuss it here on develop a leader dot com.
Plan… plan your long term goals and short term goals…concentrate on short term goals…which should be 100% in-line with the long term goal
The problem is in this immediate gratification world planning takes time and energy. Time and energy that would be better spent in a drive through getting a heart attack on a bun cheeseburger in 2 minutes or less. Right?
Leaders plan, leaders strategize. This is what often separates us from everyone else. We have a clear sense of where we are going because in our mind we are already there.
How can you plan for your development?
Ask questions, first of yourself then of others. You want to know where you have strengths that can be improved and liabilities that need to be managed. The answer to this will form a basis for where you should consider developing yourself. Now do not forget if you work in an organization you will inevitably be told to fix your weaknesses. People who think this way are average. How could they be anything else? If they follow their own advice the best they can hope for is to bring up their deficits to the average. They are not improving their strengths so…they are average.
I don’t know about you but I am not about to follow the advice of an average person (unless what they have to say makes sense). Fixing your weaknesses as a development strategy falls into my favorite technical classification of STUPID.
Back to Sudarshan…
Well talking about planning on its own as a leadership development strategy is kind of like staring at a measuring cup when you want to bake a cake. You have to have something in the plan. Sudarshan believes in a diverse approach trying a number of different techniques to develop his leadership skill.
Given an opportunity, I will try to involve myself in all the available methods… online, offline, classroom, instructor lead, books, professional network, forums, job experience, mentorship, distance education… every method that is available…
This is good advice. Perhaps a little unfocused but as long as he finds the techniques that work best for him and then leverages these he will do well. This plays into the different learning styles of leaders. When you know how you learn best you can deepen your learning even further and affect personal change far easier.
So get out there and discover what works best for you. Try courses, coaching (hint, hint), volunteer roles, get a mentor, try stuff and see what works.