Leadership tool for returners from leave

This week’s blog has been inspired by a WBECS coaching webinar I attended led by US leadership consultant, Liz Kislik: ‘How to Help Lead from the Middle’

Liz shared a model for enabling and developing self-awareness, aimed at enhancing leadership capability.  It struck me that this model would also be incredibly useful if we were to apply it to someone who has just returned from a long period of leave as a way of quick-boosting our careers:

The model

Consider how we can develop our:

  1. Curiosity (asking, listening, identifying the sub-text)
  2. ‘Street CRED’ (Commitment, Resilience, Expertise, Drive)
  3. Self-care

Curiosity

As returners from leave we are allowed to be curious – what’s changed since we’ve been away?  Who are the new people?  What does it feel like to be back?  We can and should go into ‘sponge mode’ – absorbing everything new around us.  One thing that holds returners back from being curious is having the confidence to be curious.  A very common pitfall for those coming back into their careers is waiting to be told what to do until confidence levels are back to normal.  Can we all be more proactive and go out and look for what’s changed and what needs attention?  Communicating with fresh eyes what you’re noticing is invaluable to leaders who have become lost in the detail.

Street CRED: Commitment, Resilience, Expertise, Drive

I see these 4 elements operating in a cyclical pattern; by showing commitment you will eventually feel it; by feeling committed you will build resilience; through building resilience you can then feel confident enough to work on building up your area of expertise, filling any knowledge or skill-gaps along the way; these 3 elements will then give you the drive and motivation to continue to build your commitment…and so on.

Self-care

What do YOU need as an individual to operate at your best and for the longer term?  If you are a returner from family-related leave, it is likely you have become very good at putting others before yourself as you operate in a predominantly caring mode.  But how long will your emotional and physical energy last if you don’t consider and meet your own needs?  What makes you happy?  Are you fulfilling this regularly?

We can all benefit from leadership development at any point in our careers, but especially if you have returned recently from leave.  Read some more of Liz’s fantastic blogs on leadership and managing upwards.

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