Self-leadership in an evolving marketplace
By Sarah Majengo ~ Country Representative at AfricaPractice on 22 Apr 2020Leadership
The first and best victory is to conquer self. - Plato
To keep up with the evolving marketplace, self-leadership is an important aspect of navigating through changing times. In the Corporate world, it may seem like the role of leadership is reserved for the executive floor. However, occupying a supervisory or managerial role is not a prerequisite for developing and refining leadership traits. This process can begin as soon as you land your first job, don’t be limited by the position or duties you perform.
According to LinkedIn, ‘soft skills are always necessary, regardless of an employee’s functional role or how the technology landscape evolves.‘ In their 2020 Workplace Learning Report, the highest ranking priority soft skill in 2020 and beyond is leadership and management.
I’ve compiled a list to become better at leading yourself, that has helped me through my 20 year career.
Use social media for learning
The rise of social media dates back to the beginning of this century, its exponential growth has made information and knowledge easily accessible but it can also be a source of countless distractions. We need to rethink the use of social media as channels for entertainment by utilizing the platform for engaged learning. The open forum fosters a collaborative environment that can accelerate creativity, analytical thinking and communication – all of which have been identified by multiple sources as skills of the future. An easy way to get started is to curate a list of credible experts and begin following their pages or blogs.
There is an anonymous quote which states that to develop self-discipline, you have to do what needs to be done even if you don’t want to do it. A great place to start practicing self-discipline is with your time. Establish a routine that allows you to complete mundane tasks such as making your bed, leaving the house before traffic, and having breakfast. Some tips to managing your time wisely include scheduling your day and completing the most difficult tasks first - avoid procrastination and don’t be late for meetings. The important thing is to make daily progress on your discipline by being reliable and dependable.
Consistently strive to achieve great results irrespective of your title. Each stage of your career will have new challenges, endeavor to apply yourself and do more than you did in your previous roles. A promotion may seem like an opportunity to rest on your laurels but remember that every step up the ladder is hard work. There will be instances when you feel out of your depth or overwhelmed, do not be afraid to seek support from your colleagues or boss.
Evaluate the mindset and personal barriers that could be obstacles to your career progression. Do you have unrealistic and rigid expectations about your current job? Are you a team player? How do you handle feedback? Do you respect authority? Are there any lifestyle choices that are affecting your performance? If you lack self-confidence, start to build it through affirmations, visualization of your future self and silence your inner critic.
Be solutions oriented and make decisions
Strive to be a solutions-oriented person who looks at the big picture objectively. Having the right attitude will help you approach problems with confidence and collaborative brainstorming will help you come up with creative solutions.
Don’t shy away from making decisions at the workplace. Approach decision making with the goal in mind and avoid being influenced by your emotions - have as much information on hand. It is also important to weigh the consequences and be comfortable with whatever outcome of your decision. Once you’ve made your decision, be sure to do an evaluation for future learning.
By Sarah Majengo ~ Country Representative at AfricaPractice