In Leadership

Becoming a great leader doesn’t always happen overnight, however there are steps you can take to expedite the process. The article below shares a concise plan to help grow your leadership skills in a hurry. CK

Article written by Marcel Schwantes originally appeared in Inc on January 23, 2020.

Today’s leaders require vastly different abilities and approaches to guide tomorrow’s workforce.

Where yesterday’s organizations and leaders were once hyper-focused on quarterly profits, leaders in 2020 and beyond must readjust to place greater emphasis on people skills.

We need what Mark Brown, author of Outward Bound Lessons To Live A Life of Leadership, calls Expeditionary Leaders: “A leader who is willing and able to step outside the conventional wisdom and use a deeply held set of core values and an understanding of human psychology to navigate uncharted waters and make a positive impact in the world.”

After twenty years as an instructor with Outward Bound — an international network of outdoor educational programs and schools that focus on learning and leadership — Brown’s take on leadership relies heavily on the pillars of the organization.

To move companies forward, he believes they need guides who are masters at leading groups into the challenges of the unknown.

The Four Phases of an Expedition

Before embarking on a journey, expeditionary leaders create a four-phase plan: Discover, Design, Immerse, and Reflect. Brown suggests using these same phases in organizational leadership to create a culture of purpose-driven work.

1. Discover your starting point.

Evaluate the strengths of your team. Who on your team leads through serving others? Who is prepared to do better, be better?  Who has the confidence and resilience to overcome challenges?

2. Design a mission-based approach.

Create a workplace culture where purpose is the centralized focus of the organization. Purpose-driven work creates employees that are highly motivated, more productive, and more loyal. Moreover, employees who believe their work is purposeful live healthier lives. This is the key to purpose over profit.

3. Immerse yourself in your team’s growth.

Whether it’s a promotion, a large project, or an internal change initiative, personal growth is sure to take place. A true expeditionary leader guides this growth without judgment and with encouragement and support.

4. Reflect on lessons learned.

At the end of a campaign, a project, or even at the end of the day, encourage your employees –and yourself — to find the teachable moments and find ways to apply those to future endeavors.

Tomorrow’s workforce demands adept guides — someone who understands that we are stronger together than apart, that adversity can be our greatest teacher, and that when we support and encourage one another, we are able to overcome seemingly impossible odds.

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