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Want to lead successfully? Be willing to grow

Thursday, January 12, 2017  
Posted by: Rufino Cabang
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"No matter what kind of person you are, you can always change substantially," talent developer Mary Walter told online attendees during the first NEW Summit Speaker Series webinar of the year, Jan. 11, 2017.

Walter, founder and principal of Mary Walter Leadership, led the one-hour session, "The Secret to Growing Your Leadership." Walter shared a proven approach for accelerating a career and asked attendees, "How are you going to intentionally develop yourself throughout 2017?"

Effective leadership development requires a growth mindset, she said, referencing a study in which people with a growth mindset chose to learn from people who did better on a test, while those with a fixed mindset comforted themselves by focusing on those who did worse.

"A growth mindset consistently outperforms those with a fixed mindset," Walter explained. "Those who believe they can learn, actively do."

Find your focus

Walter offered this advice to women who want to get ahead:

Develop your leadership skills; they’re essential for every role. "A mentor can tell you what you need to improve for your current job or the next," Walter said. She advised mentees to ask, "What do you think I'll struggle with in the next role?"

Identify skills that need developing by asking teammates how you can better serve them. "Partners are invaluable," Walter emphasized. "Treat them like a coach."

Don’t try to "tackle it all” or learn everything at once. "Focus on developing one skill at a time and incorporate it into your leadership style," she said.

Stay open and active in your learning process. "Talent is a minor component of achieving a skill," Walter said. "Deliberate practice, feedback and follow through are important."

Remember, feelings aren't facts. "Don't worry about not feeling confident – you probably won't. But you want your behavior to look confident," Walter urged.

To look more confident, develop your skills every day. "Want to speak up more in meetings? Ask your boss if you can take the lead in daily meetings," Walter suggested. "You'll need actions to form habits. Repetition cements learning.”

NEW members may register free online for all NEW Summit Speaker Series webinars.


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