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Eight Step Guide to Developing Your Leadership Skills

Eight Step Guide to Developing Your Leadership Skills

Dan McCarthy

February 05, 2009

Here’s how to develop your leadership skills, adapted from Lombardo and Eichenger’s Leadership Machine.

1. Know what the target looks like.

There are hundreds of books out there that claim to offer the secrets of how to be a great leader or manager, including “Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun” to “Leadership the Soprano’s Way”. It can be overwhelming, confusing, and sometimes contradictory. So what’s an aspiring leader to do? This is why as a practitioner (someone who’s responsible for leadership development within a company), it’s important to clearly define the critical leadership competencies that are required now and in the future in order for the business to succeed.

There are great research-based models to pick from (Lominger, CCL, PDI, DDI), so there’s no need to start from scratch. I’ve found it’s best to first understand your company’s strategy and leadership requirements, create a draft competency model, then engage your CEO and senior executives, as well as other key stakeholders to validate the model. If you’re an aspiring leader with no company model, then study the successful leaders in your company. Talk to them, ask them how they’ve been successful, then supplement this information with a couple good books (see list on this blog).

Next: Know where you stand against the target – seek out feedback.


Poll: How do you feel about crying at work?

Poll: How do you feel about crying at work?