Leadership is a responsibility that requires a selfless process of quality growth and valuable development.  It is important for potential leaders to understand that organizational growth does not require a sole focus on the leader as the key linchpin in the independent contracting company’s cultivating process but rather a focus on the team that the leader has helped develop.  In today’s blog, we are going to explore two important areas where leaders should place their focus in order to grow into the type of quality leader that their team deserves:

-Leaders practice the art of Listening:

Leaders that have a true desire to grow beyond their natural leadership potential will embrace the art of listening to others.  Practicing listening skills requires that leaders listen on several different yet important levels:

  •  Listen to stronger and more seasoned leaders-Leaders in the making, make a point to listen to the advice, knowledge and expertise of leaders that are stronger, more experienced, and more successful than they are.  Great leaders enjoy being around people that are smarter and more successful in the leadership arena then they feel they are themselves because these growing leaders realize the great knowledge, advice, and mentorship they can pick up from stronger leaders.  When leaders purposefully grow their listening skills then they take initiative to grow and develop into a stronger leader for their team.
  • Listen to the needs and ideas of their team-Along with listening to the wisdom of the leaders who have gone before, it is also important that rising leaders listen to the needs and ideas of the members on their own team.  Leaders build rapport with their team as well as pick up some quality advice when they make an effort to carefully listen to their team members.  Leaders gain both respect and insight when they explore the ideas and needs of their coworkers.  Respect that is gained from developing listening skills, works to help individuals become leaders and mentors.  Leaders must realize that their ability to lead depends upon their ability to maintain a cohesive team.

Leaders practice the art of Learning:

A process that goes hand-in-hand with the development of listening skills is the ability and desire to learn.  Lifelong learners make wonderful leaders because they understand the power that comes along with being malleable, flexible, and open to changes that will make his or her leadership skills better:

  •  Learn new techniques, skills, and ideas-Sometimes embracing a mentality of continual learning means having the ability to grasp and implement new skills, ideas, techniques, or practices that strengthen your skills as a leader.  It’s important that leaders don’t pick up and use every new idea that comes along but rather they should be discerning and listen to the opinions and advice of leaders they respect.  However, when a new idea or skill proves to be ethical and effective then strong, growing leaders will be malleable enough to add to or change some of their current leadership process to make room for their newly acquired skills or ideas.
  • Learn how to improve upon current skills and practices-While at times a new skill or technique needs to be implemented all together, sometimes a leader’s current skills and practices simply need to be improved upon through his or her learning process.  Strong leaders will be lifelong learners as well as lifelong improvers because strong leaders never think they have “arrived” at perfection.  Learning to improve upon current skills can sometimes mean there is a change in a leader’s mindset or way of thinking.  For example, if a company leader wants to gain respect from all members of his team then he will discover that he first has to show his respect and appreciation for each team member.  By following through with this leadership improvement, a company leader will develop relationships and build strong rapport that leads to mutual respect.

Leadership is about more than just delegating and making decisions, it first must start with an individual that is willing to listen and learn during his or her development into a leader, mentor, and role model.  In today’s blog, we dove into the important components of listening through purposefully listening to stronger leaders and listening to the needs of their team as well as the important components of learning through learning to acquire new skills and learning to improve upon current skills.  Here at Service Excellence Training, we love to aid independent contractors in growing their leadership skills, their team, and their success. Thank you for following our weekly posts.  Here at Service Excellence Training, we turn learning into earning!

-Resource curated by Whitney Stewart of Service Excellence Training