Leadership Training:How To Take Your Creativity And Expertise To The Next Level
Your performance at work is constantly being evaluated by your boss. Do you want to know how to take your performance to the next level?Do you want to take your creativity to the next level? Here are some strategies:
• Become a credentialed expert . Choose your discipline and then build your career around deepening your expertise in this discipline. Pursue all the professional and academic qualifications available within this discipline
• Stay attentive. Interesting people and ideas are everywhere, not just at work or professional gatherings, but sitting next to you on the plane, at your child’s birthday party, at the church planning meeting.
• You are inspired by extremely talented people, so try to find at least two groups of experts in which you can play a leadership or organizing role. It doesn’t really matter what the group’s expertise is. What’s invigorating for you is hearing the discussions and listening to the different viewpoints of these “masters.” Listen long enough and you will almost certainly come up with a new mission, a new possibility.
• Discipline yourself to connect someone to something every day. For example, send an e-mail each day that begins “I thought of you when I read this ...” and then include a line or two about how this particular person might benefit or learn from what you sent. People rely on you for practical possibility thinking, so be sure to draw a clear connection between what you sent and what the person might be able to do with it.
• To expand your network, go beyond your usual haunts and gatherings. Once or twice a year, sign up for an exciting group experience — a cycling trip, a charity walk, a river rafting expedition — and go alone. Given your nature, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll encounter someone who’ll spark an idea of a new connection you can make.
• Create a forum for safe experimentation, a place where you can share new, as yet fragile, patterns of understanding. It could be a cross-industry group of like-minded thinkers. It could be an informal Skunk Works within your own organization. Whatever it is, it should be comprised of people who question you and challenge you with no agenda other than helping you to strengthen (or break) the sense you’ve made. This group will become your testing ground.
• Seek out the “enemy camp.” Deliberately forge a relationship with people who see things very differently from you. They may discredit the sense you make. But by exposing yourself to them, you will prevent yourself from becoming complacent.
• Establish your precedents. When has this situation happened before? What were the outcomes? People will always look to you for a fair hearing and your rationales will be better and clearer if you can point to previous experiences and situations.
•Be thorough. As your career progresses people will place more and more weight on your judgments. Always have at your disposal all the facts and, if possible, the data behind these facts. You need, and they need, to have confidence in your judgments. Lacking the facts and the data, you run the risk of being seen as merely judgmental.
• You have a natural instinct for change. It will serve you well to “bottle” that instinct. Work out a formula that captures your natural instincts for how to handle uncertainty. Turn them into a clear process that other, less risk-oriented people can follow.
• Find ways to showcase how your innovations have succeeded in creating new business opportunities or new products. These examples of how inquisitiveness turns into performance will give people more certainty and they will become increasingly tolerant and even supportive of your pioneering spirit.Over time people will come to lean on you for emotional uplift. This is a wonderful gift you offer them and to ensure that you can keep offering it, you must set clear boundaries for your friends and col- leagues. You cannot take on everyone’s full range of emotions.
• Volunteer for situations where success depends on you turning around an angry or obstinate person. It’s not that you should necessarily seek out conflict — you are not, by nature, a conflict seeker. It’s more that you are driven to make everything right and you are at your best when you have to pull out all the stops to make this happen.
• Keep learning. Keep researching your subject. Attend the cutting-edge conferences. Read the expert posts. Make this a priority.
• Always stay in touch with those whom you have helped to learn and grow. Their continued success will be a constant source of joy for you.