And, with this emergence is the increased need for rapid leadership development. Not leadership development of old. Rather, a new-school, fast-paced, purposeful, mentor-style leadership development.
Here are three ways emerging leaders are developing in this new era of leadership:
This new era of emerging leaders must be purposeful curators of leadership content. The old days of just reading books on leadership has morphed into leadership podcasts, YouTube channels, mobile apps, and audiobooks. As an example, in 2016, I personally listened to 60 leadership/business development/personal development audiobooks. I have about an hour-long traffic-filled commute to and from my office, so I spent the time listening to leadership giants share their knowledge and experience. That did not include all of the podcasts, articles, blogs, research studies, etc. on leadership and similar topics. This thirst for information is insatiable because this new era of emerging leaders know that the key to success is constant and purposeful curation of leadership learning.
Reflecting on successes and failures is one of the quickest ways to grow as a leader. Many emerging leaders constantly benchmark themselves against others. In social psychological terms, we call this social comparison. Rather, emerging leaders should reflect on their own current abilities, current lessons learned, current areas of opportunity, and current mistakes that can lead to learning opportunities. This new era of emerging leader should reflect upon ways to daily and incrementally grow to become better than they were in the past.
I had a mentor once tell me there are three questions that I, as a leader, should reflect on every day:
These are great questions to spark your daily reflection. Think of these reflection times as your after-action reviews, in which you glean useful insights from your day.
This new era of emerging leaders craves the wisdom that other leaders can share. In the minds of these leaders, there is no reason to learn by "hard knocks" when the wisdom of those "hard knocks" has already been gained and distilled into edible lessons by others. So, emerging leaders constantly seek out mentors, conferences, leadership boot camps, and training sessions all in the effort of quickly upskilling their leadership impact.
On top of this, they are not shy to seek feedback from other leaders. Creating and capitalizing on learning opportunities is streamlined by having a mentor, coach or peer provide feedback and act as a sounding board. This feedback from more experienced leaders assists in the rapid and systematic uptake of leadership skills.
The bottom line for this new era of emerging leaders to focus on curating, reflecting, and leader-seeking is that they can quickly develop the capabilities that leaders need to anticipate, respond to, and continually learn from the ever-changing leadership landscape.
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