Many of us think we are leaders but are we really just managers, juggling a million balls at once?
Managing a team, family or even your circle of friends can be a challenge in itself, however, leading them is a totally different story. A great leader is also a coach, a mentor and a sponsor, and as they say it doesn’t happen overnight, but with the right training and skills it will happen.
Ask yourself these questions…
Do you feel that you regularly share your knowledge and expertise with your staff and peers?
Do you think the people around you feel empowered by you?
Are you the go-to when there is a problem or tricky situation?
If you answered yes to all of the above, then I’m pretty sure you’re already leading your own tribe without knowing it. By taking your leadership qualities and approach from an informal relationship to a more formal approach, you will not only take your own career to the next level but will also inspire those around you to climb the corporate ladder with you.
So, what’s the difference between coaching, mentoring and sponsorship you ask?
Coaching is bespoke and generally a one-on-one tailored program developed for an individual for a defined period of time, with specific business goals in mind.
Mentoring can be both informal and formal. It’s flexible in the fact that as the needs of the mentee changes, so can the guidance and knowledge provided. In short, it’s a supportive relationship designed to develop the mentee to their fullest potential.
Sponsorship on the other hand, is using one’s power to influence others and in turn support the growth of the employee or individuals in situations where a little weight is needed.
- Create a space where ideas and input are valued; if you had all the answers to all the questions you would be god and not a good leader. Input is essential.
- Don’t tell. Ask questions, ask for input about why someone is executing a task a certain way and what they hope to achieve – most of the time they know the answer they just need confirmation;
- Be open about the vision and bring your team along with you; often I am surprised that they team are just as excited to reach goals as I am. There’s no I in team but there is in win.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your leadership journey and empower others to do the same, then join us in Sydney this month at the Women in Leadership Summit with Nell Wilson, from Nell Wilson Executive Coaching, for our workshop on Mentoring, Coaching and Sponsoring Women. Tickets available here.