Leaders are always striving to build new skills and find ways to improve, both themselves and their teams. With workplace environments changing to accommodate business challenges, the modern consumer, and global health threats, it can sometimes feel as though professional development may be lacking. However, remote working offers several opportunities to build your leadership skills.
The great leaders of our time take efforts to engage in lifelong learning and attribute this pursuit to much of their success. Bill Gates takes a “Think Week” twice a year where he reads and does problem-solving in a secluded cabin in a forest. Billionaire investor and longtime friend of Warren Buffet, Charlie Munger says “Without lifelong learning, you’re not going to do very well. You’re not going to get very far in life based on what you already know.” Oprah Winfrey also believes “You must feed your mind with reading material, thoughts, and ideas that open you to new possibilities.”
Lifelong learning has been the cornerstone for many successful business people. Whether at home or in the office, you can take steps to help support your growth as well. Try these tips to help build your leadership skills when working remotely.
One definite way to build your leadership skills is through active learning. Check out a new webinar, podcast, TED Talk, online course, certification program, LinkedIn Learning—take your pick. There are a variety of classes and learning materials you can access, many of which are free or inexpensive. DEFENDERS team members can access videos, tutorials, books, and other educational resources through our intranet.
Learning happens regardless of your role in a mentorship. As a mentor, your expertise can benefit someone less experienced than you are, while helping you build new leadership skills. As a mentee, you can learn from more experienced leaders.
With video conferencing tools readily available, it’s easier than ever to set up mentoring without even being in the same building. Offer to participate in a mentorship to help focus on your strengths and areas of growth.
Giving back to others is beneficial for individual growth, community building, and engagement. Additionally, there are various physical and mental benefits for those who participate in active volunteering. With today’s technological advancements, you can even volunteer from the comfort of your own home, while creating valuable connections and a positive community.
Many of the great leaders of our time are persistent readers. In fact, Warren Buffet’s 5-Hour Rule encourages lots of reading. Warren Buffet spends at least five hours each week reading newspapers and corporate reports. The goal is to engage in active learning at least one hour each day.
Bill Gates also adheres to this rule, reading approximately 50 books each year. Try finding a leader you respect and read a book by that person to help expand your leadership skills and abilities. Looking for further insight? Try reading a book outside of your industry or area of expertise to expand your horizons. Here are some recommended reads from our team.
Innovators and leaders look for ways to improve others, as well as themselves. Developing new processes or programs to improve the productivity of your team sets you apart. Also, implementing an engaging way to collaborate will position you as a leader and team members will naturally begin looking to you for guidance or problem-solving.
It’s far easier to make strides if you outline a definitive plan and actionable steps to get there. Identify your growth goals, and detail the precise actions you’ll take to get there and which resources you need to accomplish those goals. Use our guide to make a six-step growth plan.
Leaders are problem solvers and aren’t afraid of taking calculated risks. Try to involve yourself in a new project, either of your own devising or one that is in need of additional resources. Your participation will help you make new connections while learning more about the business and other team members.
Any way you can further your own knowledge and that of others will help you become a better leader. How will you build your leadership skills?