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Is your leadership holding you back?

“I’ve just had a light bulb moment. I realise that I already have all the leadership skills I need – I don’t need to keep adding. I just need to dial up or dial down the leadership traits I already have”.

A woman wearing a denim jacket us staring out at sand dunes and the ocean. She is wearing a straw hat, with her elbows wide and her hands on top of her heads.

These are the words of Jackie Jeffrey, one of the participants in the Leadership Great South Coast program. I worked with this program recently and the fabulous Corrinne Armour was leading a session called ‘What Got You Here Won’t Get You There’, based on the teaching of Marshall Goldsmith. Here’s a useful summary of his work in this area.

In essence, Goldsmith says you should outline your leadership traits  your skills, talents and abilities. Then, you need to work out when and how they are helping you and when and how they might be holding you back. He asserts there’s no need to replace traits  just build on what you’ve already got.

To build your leadership traits, Goldman suggests using both feedback and ‘feedforward’.

Most of us are familiar with feedback  ask someone what they think of your work, reflect on what they say and amend as you need.

Feedforward focusses on the future. There are the five steps to implementing effective ‘feedforward’:

  • Choose a leadership trait that has significant impact on you and/or the people around you.
  • Describe this trait in a one-on-one session with a trusted friend or colleague.
  • Ask for two suggestions as to how you could improve or change.
  • Listen without judgement  do not argue with feedback.
  • Close the conversation by saying thank you.

Feedforward is a useful addition to your toolbox to amplify your leadership. It helps you explore what leadership traits you have and how they are helping you or holding you back.

How have you used  or how would you like to use  feedback and feedforward to build your leadership? What leadership traits do you have that have got you where you are? How are they helping you? How are they holding you back?

I’d love to hear  message me. Best response will receive a copy of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and also Corrinne’s book Developing Direct Reports: Taking the Guesswork out of Leading Leaders.

'Ideas to Action' is written in red fond and sits centred above a graphic of a quarter black circle on the bottom-left and a quarter circle of horizontal lines on the bottom-right.

Ideas to Action

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