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Boost your growth: 5 essential tools and resources to develop your leadership to the fullest

Are leaders born or made? This very common question does not have a single answer. There are those who are born with a natural leadership capacity and those who develop it throughout their lives, through the experiences that build their personality.

In reality, it does not matter whether we are dealing with a natural leader or a self-made one. What all people with the ability to lead have in common is that they are aware that they need to progress. Because the skills and abilities that are essential today to lead a work team may not be essential in the future.

In fact, those who are now around 50 and have already accumulated many years of work experience behind them, have seen first-hand how roles have changed from the boss of a few decades ago to the leader of today.


Leaders are responsible for guiding their company on its path to continue progressing. To do this, they must be able to adapt to changes and continue improving. Therefore, on this occasion, we want to review five tools and resources that can help enhance and develop people's leadership. Take good notes!

Table of Contents

improvisation course

We could have started this review with typical tools like executive coaching or MBAs, but we want to go a step further and help leaders think outside the box and look for alternatives that help their development and that go beyond what is standardized.

It is not necessary that the leader aspire to become a great actor, or even have an interest in the performing arts. It is enough that you have the will to further develop the skills that are helping you in your professional career as a manager.

In this sense, an improvisation course can be a particularly useful tool, from which many interesting knowledge can be extrapolated:

Creative thinking and problem solving

Theatrical improvisation encourages creativity and the ability to think quickly and effectively. Which turns out to be just what companies expect from their leaders: that they have the ability to find effective solutions to problems in record time.

Through this theatrical formula, the person learns to take your thinking beyond the ordinary and adapt to scenarios that can change from one moment to another.

Effective communication

Can you be a leader if you are not a good communicator? Not today, because effective communication is an essential soft skill for all those who have to lead work teams.

In improvisation courses, students learn to actively listen already express yourself clearly, using both verbal and non-verbal language.

For leaders, who must practice persuasive communication, understanding and comprehending everything their body conveys when they speak is a good way to ensure that the message is being received as it is intended to be conveyed.

Quick decision making 

An improvisational actor has to be able to make decisions instantly. Seeking that the choice made is the best for him, the one that allows him to provide a good interpretation.

In the case of leaders, developing the ability to make quick decisions with complete confidence is essential for be able to cope with crisis situations.

Acceptance of uncertainty

Although we see improvisational actors very confident on stage, how can they be if they don't know what they are exposing themselves to? They don't have a script or a predefined scene, they don't know what they have to do, and they appear totally confident. This is because they have learned to accept uncertainty.

The unknown does not scare them because they know that they have the ability to adapt quickly and come out on top by making the best decisions possible. This, applied to leadership, turns out to be an essential quality for be able to respond effectively in complex and changing environments.

Do volunteer work

Carrying out volunteer work is not only a very pleasant personal experience, it can also be an activity that helps develop leadership skills.

If managers take some free time and use it to participate in activities in which they can help others, they will discover that a whole world of possibilities opens up to them.

Teamwork

It is common for volunteer work to be carried out as a team. The leader, who in this case will not be one, can fully enter into the dynamics of a work team and understand how it works from the inside.

By being one more, the leader can practice his basic teamwork skills and enhance them even more. If you do it right, you can make the work of volunteers much more effective, something that will benefit those who receive their help, so it is a “win win”.

Empathy and understanding

There are all kinds of volunteers, with different levels of training, life experiences, age, etc. Also the people who need help from volunteers are very different from each other.

For the leader, volunteering involves be in direct contact with profiles of people very different from those who are usually in your environment. This will help you develop your empathy and ability to understand other people's needs and perspectives. Something that will be especially useful when the time comes to lead your team, because you will better understand each of its members.

Time management

No volunteer has too much free time. They all juggle to fulfill their personal and work responsibilities and, at the same time, help others.

In this environment, the leader can learn a lot about how to more efficiently manage his or her time. Learning to set priorities and work more effectively.

Resilience

When a volunteer action is proposed, the results are not always as expected. This makes volunteers people. very resistant to frustration and resilient. They accept that things can go wrong, learn from it and continue to improve.

There is no doubt that developing this capacity is essential for anyone who aspires to be a leader.

Practice sports

Sport is one of the most powerful tools that exist to develop leadership skills, especially if it is practiced as a team or, individually, in the company of other people.

Conflict management

A basic leader skill that can be learned while playing sports is conflict management. Although sportsmanship should always prevail, any playing field can be the scene of a dispute between teammates or rivals.

It is precisely the sporting spirit that pushes to seek a dialogue solution to the problem. And this is where the leader can develop his or her ability to resolve disputes in a constructive way.

Strategy and planning

In sport not everything depends on physical fitness. Behind every won game there is a careful strategy and detailed planning of how the plays should develop. Which is the same thing we do in companies when we pursue a goal.

By exercising, the leader learns to develop new strategies and plan actions that lead to his goal. A skill that will come in handy when you switch from sportswear to a suit.

Self-awareness and self-discipline

Sport teaches us to be aware of our weaknesses and our strengths. It is a path to self-knowledge and towards a greater discipline over one's own emotions and reactions.

In the case of leaders, being more aware of their weaknesses and strengths, and controlling their reactions, is of great help to stay calm in complicated situations and see where they need to improve.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness seeks to help people be aware of the present moment, but without judging, and this is something that can contribute to the development of skills that are essential when it comes to exercising leadership.

Stress management

A stressed leader is a bad leader, because if he is nervous, everyone on the team will be nervous. Therefore, an essential skill for those who guide others is to keep stress under control.

In this sense, mindfulness is very useful, because many of its practices are aimed at stay calm even in high pressure situations.

Inspirational leadership

Leaders who have trained in mindfulness can inspire their team with their behavior. If they are calm, communicative, empathetic and compassionate, these qualities will be “infected” to others.

The result is a most motivated team and a much more pleasant work environment for all.

TED Talks

TED talks are conferences focused on technology, entertainment and design, which are carried out by specialists. They tend to be enjoyable and don't last too long, so it is always possible to find a time to watch one through channels like YouTube.

In these talks they usually present Innovative ideas and motivating perspectives that can be applied on a personal and professional level, which can be useful for leaders.

Expert learning

A good leader is aware that there is always room for improvement.. And there is nothing better for him than being able to continue learning from the best.

TED talks are a good source of information to stay aware of new trends and opportunities. Something that will help the leader stay up to date and detect ways to improve their company.

Development of critical thinking

These types of talks challenge conventional thinking and give us a different perspective on certain social or business problems.

For leaders, viewing these types of conferences is a way to develop their critical thinking. A skill that will help them question the established status quo and will allow them to make better decisions.

Enhancing leadership capacity is something that can be done outside of conventional ways. Furthermore, improving these skills not only benefits those who develop professionally but also all the people who work with them, as well as the company as a whole.

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