Leadership is a process of change and choices focused on growing and learning more about yourself, gaining greater self-awareness.
Leadership is learned from experience, failure, feedback, practice and success. Where to begin with growing your leadership? Anyone can start. Make a new ending. Your beliefs and values contribute to your choices. It’s never too late to change or try. You have the power to direct your mind and choose. Empowerment happens when we realize our actions and reactions are choices.
“With the right amount of want and need, along with commitment and knowledge, put yourself on the path to building, evolving and nurturing your leadership skills. Repeatedly, they may become habits.”
Leadership requires intentional changes in yourself. Whatever the result of your choices, it has information about where you are in a process. Learning from our choices may help us move forward and not give up. Everything teaches. It means recognizing your emotions and their impact; knowing your strengths and limits; and acting with faith, hope and optimism. It's a personal journey, working toward a compelling vision of the future, bringing it to life for yourself.
Three Questions for Leadership Development
1| What's your motivation to change? | Achievement, Affiliation and Power
Motivation is about the how and why of your goals. It's rooted in your beliefs and values. There's no single path to stir your motivation. To get you started, consider these thoughts. Perhaps you're an achievement seeker, motivated to meet or exceed a standard of excellence in food product development. Or, you're an affiliation creator, curating and sustaining meaningful relationships with others who share similar values and ways of working in the restaurant industry. Maybe, you're a power broker in the most positive sense, meaning empowering teammates in a foodservice setting rather than controlling them. Think about these different motivations. Know these motivations begin and end with people in mind.
2| Who do you want to become? | Hard Skills and Soft Skills
Whether you’re new in position or a seasoned professional, actively build your confidence. Build and improve on both your hard and soft skills to influence and inspire yourself and others to achieve outcomes and drive results. The hard skills are your technical abilities that you bring to the food industry such as testing the soil to ensure it's ready for planting; preparing cuts of meat for sale; assessing a patient's health and nutrition status for important medical nutrition therapy; writing stories about food sustainability and more. Hard skills are expected and vital for succeeding in any job or career. As the foundation for leadership, soft skills give and help you develop credibility with others. These skills include consistently practiced traits such as honesty and modesty; empathy--feeling what others feel; integrity in telling the whole truth; forward-thinking and staying the course with a track record of getting results. Only you can determine who you want to be with your combination of both hard and soft skills.
3| How will your leadership come to life? | Accountability and Authenticity
Here's a hint about how to take action. To be viewed consistently as a credible, reputable and trustworthy leader, it's about taking accountability and demonstrating authenticity. Let's start with accountability, not be mistaken for responsibility. If you're raising your hand to be accountable--the whole enchilada, then you're ready, willing and able to accept the success and/or failures of an outcome. It may range from a challenging discussion in a crisis situation where product inventory is running low, to a difficult project requiring more resources after several starts and stops or to a customer satisfaction situation. Responsibility relates a completing a single task, for example making sure you have the ingredients for the enchilada! It's the choice we make about our ability to respond. Now on to authenticity, another fancy word for being you -- a cool human who understands their purpose; practices solid values; leads with both a balanced head (hard skills) and heart (soft skills) in establishing as well as maintaining connected relationships. Accountability and authenticity create change in your work and your life. Take it. Ultimately, it's a leadership choice.
Feeling inspired to lead a life of leadership GROWth? Changes and choices ahead.