Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Supplement Your SOP Learning

So you have been thrust into new responsibilities ... a new position, new people to work with and new projects or programs to carry through to completion. This is definitely a growing experience ... growing by the seat of your pants (SOP).

Seat of the pants growing is characterized by situations being in your face and you having to respond even though you don't have any particular specialized training in how to handle them. It's the trial and error method. You learn it as you need it.

There is nothing wrong with SOP. All of us use it. Over time we have matured (hopefully) and become experts in particular areas.

We had better be agile enough to handle whatever comes up. You might even say it is a necessity. But the cycle to mastery could have been vastly shortened.

The randomness of SOP learning and leadership isn't enough for someone who is a business, corporate, government or nonprofit leader. It isn't enough if you have suddenly been thrust into leadership of a small business or community organization. You can't afford to be behind the curve. You have to strive to be ahead of the curve. Otherwise incompetencies surface and become visible to all.

Growing as a leader requires additional attention. It requires intentionality. It requires asking yourself what knowledge needs to be learned, what skills need to be developed and what attitudes need to be adjusted to help you do a better job of directing and working with people to reach the objectives of the organization.

Will you:

  • Work with a personal effectiveness Coach

  • Read a book on dealing with conflict

  • Do an online course

  • Attend regular webinars

  • Become a better speaker

  • Finish a degree

  • Improve your skills for conducting meetings

  • Learn better delegating skills

  • Learn how to get your office and to-do list organized

  • Listen to one business or self-growth book on tape each month

  • or a hundred and one other possibilities to grow

Whatever it is, and it might not be complicated, be intentional about pursuing it. Don't leave your future as a leader to the 'seat of your pants' method of leadership development.

Start by creating a draft of your own PDP, your Personal Development Plan. Look out over the next few years and ask what you need to add for your personal and professional growth to best prepare you for the responsibilities that are and may possibly be yours.

Don't leave personal and professional growth to chance. Be intentional.

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