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An 8 step guide to developing your leadership skills


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Dan McCarthy's presentation to the New England Society of Association Executives.

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An 8 step guide to developing your leadership skills

  1. 1. Dan McCarthy, Director Executive Development ProgramsThe University of New Hampshire
  2. 2. My background: Leadership Development for RG&E, Kodak, Paychex, The University of New Hampshire Great Leadership blog and eBook 25 Years of management experienceToday’s session: Less theory and citations; more practical “how-to” You’ll leave with at least one action step for your leadership development journey
  3. 3. 1. Motivation 8. Continuous 2. Define learning leadership 7. Feedbackand reflection you? 3. Assessment 6. Plan and 4. Get specific practice 5. Variety
  4. 4.  Why do you want to improve your leadership skills? Leadership development is a full contact sport No motivation = no behavior changeAction steps: Align with your organization’s purpose Align with your own personal purpose, mission, values Find a reason that will motivate you
  5. 5. What is “leadership”?
  6. 6. "There are almost as many definitions ofleadership as there are persons who haveattempted to define the concept." - RalphStogdill
  7. 7. Height?Gender?IQ? DNA? Birthday?
  8. 8.  First born:• Intelligence• Energy, ambition Then, mostly made:• Knowledge• People skills• Experiences• “Learning Agility”
  9. 9.  Chuck Yeager (“The Right Stuff”): “I am the sum total of the life I have lived….There is no such thing as a natural–born pilot. Whatever my aptitudes or talents, becoming a proficient pilot was hard work, really a lifetime’s learning experience. For the best pilots, flying is an obsession, the one thing in life they must continually do. The best pilots fly more than the others; that’s why they are the best”.
  10. 10. To some extent. There are clues….. Authenticity, Receptivity to feedback Adaptability, Comfort with ambiguity Conceptual thinking, Learning agility Deliver results, Self-aware Emotional IntelligenceAnd methodology: Assessments, Talent Reviews, Assessment Centers
  11. 11.  Read biographies of leaders you admire Read 2-3 leadership books Interview/network with leaders you admire See if your company has a leadership model Develop your own definition and list of 10 traits, characteristics, and/or behaviors
  12. 12. Self-assessment is the least accurate!Action steps: Formal assessments  The Leadership Practices Inventory 360 Ask others Stakeholder interview process Watch yourself on video 10/10 technique Listen, say “thanks”, and be on the lookout for blind spots
  13. 13.  Improve my ability to listen when I’m in a hurry or under stress” “learn how to lead change” “Learn to be more strategic” “Improve my presentation skills”Action step: Pick just one thing Get S.M.A.R.T. about it
  14. 14.  Thinking back over your career, choose 3 – 5 development experiences of importance and impact – the ones that resulted in the most learning. These can be on or off the job, at any point in your career. They could be jobs, assignments, projects, bosses, classes, coaches, or other experiences that made you see things in a different way, built skills that you still use today, or significantly changed your behavior.
  15. 15. Challenging Assignments 48% 18% 17% OtherSignificant Events Other 17% People Hardships Research from the Center for Creative Leadership
  16. 16. Action steps: Consider a job change Take on a challenging work assignment Take on a challenge off-the job Get help from others: coach, mentor, boss, subject matter experts Get “feedforward” Take a courses (targeted, feedback, peer learning, application) Read a “how-to” books, subscribe to blogs, videos, etc… Developmental “HEAT”!
  17. 17. Pick one behavior you would like to changeDescribe this behavior to a partnerAsk for “feedforward” – for two suggestions for the future that might help achieve a positive change in your selected behaviorListen attentively and take notesThank the personAsk the other person what they would like to changeProvide feedforward – two suggestions aimed at helping the other person changeSay “You are welcome” when thanked for the suggestions. The entire process of both giving and receiving feedforward usually takes about two minutesFind another partner and keep repeating the process until the exercise is stopped
  18. 18. Action steps: Write it down! Individual Development Plan (handout) Public “declarations” Find a partner Deliberate practice
  19. 19. Action Steps: Get more feedback: “How am I doing?Reflection: Start a journal Debrief with a coach, learning partner, mentor
  20. 20. 1. Motivation 8. Continuous 2. Define learning leadership 7. Feedbackand reflection you? 3. Assessment 6. Plan and 4. Get specific practice 5. Variety
  21. 21. My contact information and resources:Email: daniel.mccarthy@unh.eduBlog: http://www.greatleadershipbydan.comeBook: The Great Leadership Development and Succession Planning eBook(Amazon, Nook, Ibooks, etc…): $7.99Twitter: @greatleadershipUNH Executive Leadership programs:The UNH Next Level Executive Development Program Leadership Development Program