5 Ways to Grow Your Leadership, Your Business & Yourself
“All too often, people get promoted into leadership positions because they were very good at their job,” said Sproule. “Suddenly they find themselves in a role that requires an entirely different set of skills than their old job required.”
Sproule is a life and leadership coach, with a long professional history of helping to develop teams and leaders. After she first experienced coaching for herself, she found herself marveling that such a job existed—and wondering how she could transition to working in the coaching space.
In 2021 Sproule went through training, and started Burning Point Coaching and Consulting. Today she works with individuals, teams and businesses that are committed to their own growth and development. She has found her passion.
If you are new to leadership—or are realizing that leadership is harder than you thought—here are some things you need to know.
CLARIFY YOUR PRIORITIES
Most people have the capacity to really prioritize two or three things. The question, then, is what will these be for you? Which areas of focus will make the most difference over the course of six months to a year and will move you toward your goal?
- INTENTIONALLY PUT YOUR PRIORITIES INTO YOUR CALENDAR.
If innovation is one of your priorities, for example, schedule time for brainstorming about a chosen topic in each team meeting or practice starting each meeting with, “What’s something new that you tried this month?”
- CREATE “CONTAINERS” IN YOUR CALENDAR FOR THINGS THAT HAVE TO BE DONE, BUT AREN’T PRIORITIES.
For example, you might set aside Friday afternoon for processing expense reports. Then, any time an expense report crosses your desk, you can put it in the Friday-afternoon folder and not think about it until then.
DEVELOP YOUR PEOPLE
Leadership is essentially about motivating and developing people. Sometimes leaders get stuck on the numbers and results—you have to remember that people are the most important thing. Also, if you are a numbers person, remember that it is much cheaper to retain a good employee than it is to hire a new one. position. Cultivating positive relationships with your work team is crucial.
- MEET INDIVIDUALLY WITH PEOPLE ON A REGULAR BASIS, AT LEAST TWICE A MONTH.
Use that time to get to know them and build them up—this time is not for performance reviews. Try to make this a meeting that you both enjoy.
- WHEN YOU’RE MEETING, LEARN ABOUT YOUR PEOPLE.
Identify their key strengths and what motivates them.
- GIVE REGULAR ENCOURAGEMENT AND PRAISE.
Focus on the positive in a genuine way.
- REGULARLY ASK, “WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BE MORE EFFECTIVE HERE?”
Listen and take them seriously—do whatever you can to give them what they need.
BUILD YOUR TEAM
A strong, cohesive, adaptable team can do anything. However, building a good team takes time and attention, so make it one of your priorities.
- SCHEDULE REGULAR TIME TOGETHER AND GIVE THOSE YOUR BEST ENERGY.
Your meetings should be engaging and inspiring. People should want to be there.
- COMMUNICATE CLEAR PRIORITIES WITH YOUR TEAM.
Make sure they know what’s expected and how that will be measured, and then stop micromanaging.
- BUILD TRUST BY HAVING SHARED VALUES THAT EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS AND LIVES BY.
Address conflict or violations of those values directly and quickly—this is how your team learns how to operate together, and that they can trust you.
DO YOUR OWN INNER WORK
“Power doesn’t solve problems, it amplifies them,” said Sproule. “When you step into leadership, the things you struggle with right now will get bigger and have more serious consequences.”
Whatever it is—anger, anxiety, procrastination—as you move into positions of leadership your entire team will be impacted by your own personal patterns. On the flip side, growing personally will be helpful in all your work relationships and processes.
- Take the time to work with a professional to increase your self-awareness and learn healthy strategies.
- Learn how to identify your triggers and how to handle uncomfortable emotions so they don’t overwhelm you.
- Work on your character, integrity, and attitude. Skills can be taught, but those things have to be in you.