The Daily Challenge: Senior leaders need new skills, too.

 

You lead and you learn. 

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Senior leaders need new skills, too.

Time to Read: 3 Mins

A deep sense of accomplishment often comes not from a senior title, but from expanding your expertise and continuing to grow your skills.

At the beginning of your career, the necessity to grow through building new skills is obvious. But how does skill building benefit senior leaders with years of experience in their field? And what are some of the creative ways to keep those skills growing?

The Economist called mastering new technologies and skills “an economic imperative,” necessary for professionals who want to keep up with the changing nature of work.
Learning new skills, especially when they are complex and novel, also benefits your health: it helps enhance memory and even increase average life duration

Expanding the repertoire of your skills also expands your potential for creative thinking: it allows you to merge the knowledge or experience from various fields to come up with something unique. The ability to think creatively is valuable since it gives leaders new approaches in problem-solving and idea gathering. 

Leaders who are already prioritizing skill development can always benefit from learning about new ways to incorporate the process into everyday life.

Today, consider the steps below to brainstorm new areas and strategies for skill building.

Step 1: Identify the skills you want to build. What are the areas of your work that hold the most opportunities for growth? For example, you maybe you’ve been wanting to learn more about the latest technology in your field or become better at cross-culture communication. 

Step 2. Look at your current projects and identify where you could work on those skills. Instead of delegating a task that would help you refine your skills, consider keeping it on your to-do list. Pick the projects that have some amount of buffer time to allow you to practice the new skill. 

Step 3: Consider pairing up with a coworker who has mastered the skill you are building. Collaborating with another leader or even your team member will help you project a collaborative leadership style, showing that you respect the expertise of people you work with and are excited about learning from others.


Pro-tip: Identify team members who can give you feedback. You might have an understanding of your main strengths and weaknesses, but people you work with might have better insight on the blind spots you might be missing. Think about team members whom you can ask to provide you with feedback on where they think you could grow more. 



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