A new report from the Third Sector Leadership Centre is outlining ten ways that leaders can develop their skills.
“Learning to Lead” suggests tools and methods that have been used by leaders to enhance the effectiveness and performance of themselves and their organisations and the wider voluntary and community sector. It outlines how leaders have chosen particular development approaches and why.
1. Join an action learning set: become part of a small group of peers to address real life problems, develop solutions and take action.
2. Undertake an assessment of skills: many questionnaires help to gain insights into strengths, abilities, and the identification of development needs.
3. Access a coach: an individual development relationship can support leaders in recognizing their potential, identifying their goals and overcoming barriers.
4. Benchmark yourself against a competency framework: will help to establish a frame of reference for organisational good practice and individuals’ competence.
5. Seek guidance from a mentor: can help leaders to think through their ideas and support their professional development.
6. Consider a qualifications route: accredited certificates of competence and achievement can aid career progression and establish a sound knowledge base.
7. Take time to reflect on a residential programme: offers dedicated time (from three to five days) away from the day-to-day business of management to learn, reflect and network.
8. Challenge yourself in a new environment by a secondment or volunteering: an opportunity to see your and others’ environments from a different perspective by either transferring internally or to an external organisation.
9. Research your needs and direct your own learning: taking responsibility for finding, managing and assessing your own learning builds confidence
10. Attend a workshop or masterclass: will give time-poor leaders learning focused on specific topics and providing opportunities to get information, develop skills and learn from others.
Tracy Beasley, Manager of the Third Sector Leadership Centre, said:
“Leaders need the strategic skills to develop an organisation and its people. This requires an awareness of the rapidly changing external operating environment, a high level of internal self-awareness and the ability to understand, work with and inspire others. Everyone’s leadership journey is different and this guide outlines some of the options that are available to help support leaders’ learning and develop their skills and capacity for leadership and the challenges they face.”
Dame Jo Williams, Chief Executive of Mencap, said:
“Our sector has a reputation for leading edge work, creativity and innovation. All these factors require leaders who have the skills and determination to make a difference. There is now an understanding that clarity of vision, passion and energy and a commitment to freeing up the workforce to give of their best are some of the key ingredients of successful leadership. This guide provides advice, suggestions, counsel and experiences that will help leaders take the next steps in their leadership development journey.”
“Learning to Lead – ten ways to develop your leadership skills” is available to download from third sector leadership