About a year ago our business started growing and as much as everybody was excited about this growth, there were so many changes and challenges we needed to overcome as a team. At one point it became clear that our leadership team needed profiling and coaching in this exciting period of transformation, otherwise, as absurd as this may sound, the company would literally not be able to ‘survive’ this growth.
We have contacted Mosaic Partners, a coaching & mentoring company and started a cooperation with them. The first step was understanding the profile of our leadership team. We have analysed the company culture together, identified the gaps within the executive team and after just a few sessions, Mosaic Partners provided a list of recommendations. We started implementing these recommendations and Kate was there for us every step of the way, with her insights, advice and the passion she had for everything she was doing.
Surprising things I have learned
I will skip the part about what it takes to be a good leader and won’t dwell on the qualities like integrity, flexibility, honesty, communication and so on. If you want to read about this, I’d recommend a TaskQue post, it perfectly summarises and explains the most important qualities of a great leader. I’d like to focus on the 2 most surprising (and core) things I’ve learned that helped me develop as a leader.
Leaders are not born, they are made
I have read so many posts and books about personal qualities of a leader and after reading these I got an impression that leaders are born, not made – you can not learn to be confident or have integrity (some of the qualities of a great leader) – you are either born with these or not. Admittedly, deep down I felt that people had the potential to develop in these areas, and that gave me some hope. On the other hand, I’ve heard so many times about someone being “born to be a leader” and that made me feel discouraged because I needed this leadership course, so I obviously was not born a leader. But Kate convinced me otherwise, everybody can be made a leader if they are willing to start making decisions and take responsibility for them. So, the first decision you need to make if you want to become a (great) leader is the decision to grow, both personally and professionally. This brings me to the second most important thing I’ve learned.
Being a leader means you have made a promise to grow and evolve
People who have made this promise have everything it takes to be a great leader. How? Well, people who want to grow and evolve, people with a growth mind, are honest enough to admit they are wrong when they are. They are confident enough to admit that they are not perfect and that they can still learn, even from interns, which actually enables them to grow and evolve. People with a growth mind inspire others and empower them because they’ve decided to listen. And they have decided to listen because that is the only way to hear, learn and thus grow. These are just some examples and when I think about every quality of a great leader and analyse it, I can very easily find its root in one single thing – commitment to constantly develop and evolve.
So, put it simply, to become a good leader, you need to do 2 things: you need to believe that you can do that (that good leaders can be made) and you need to decide that you will use every opportunity to grow and develop. These are the most useful (and surprising!) things Mosaic Partners have taught me.