Leadership can be learned. Everyone plays leadership roles in their daily lives all the time. Leadership has to do with your ability to influence other people to effect change. Being a mom involves leadership skills as you have to influence your kids and not just bark out instructions. We are all designed to be leaders, because we are designed to interact with other people by just being human. Yet, leadership is evolutionary and is strengthened by developing some specific skills.
When it comes to your career, think about it in blocks of seven years. Think of blue-collar workers like masons and electricians. You see the same pattern followed loosely by law firms. Roughly, they follow this cycle:
- Years 1-7 years – apprentice or associate – you are learning the skills of the trade and you are tweaking and fine tuning such skills.
- Years 7-14 – Journeyman or junior partner – you have mastered the trade and you can delegate to people under you so that your team can get more work done based on your top-notch skills. You also get to train people under you for technical skills.
- Years 14-21 – Master Journeyman or senior partner – you can have your own shop right now and be able to generate money as well as inspire your people under you.
- Years 21 to 28 — Legacy builder – 21 to 28 – you are turning your focus to what the legacy is that you will leave behind. In this phase, usually, you give back to the larger community and you mentor young people.
- Years 28 plus – Retiree!!! Unless you are a high achieving Boomer who does not want to retire!
At some point in your career, you take on more responsibilities based on your level of skill. As your skills become more fine-tuned and more results oriented, naturally, your employer will want you to lead other people so that they can duplicate your wonderful abilities.
So yes, you have great skills in getting the job done (tasks) but have you actually been trained in relationships and leading other people?
Challenge yourself to evolve into a stellar leader. Be sure to attend leadership training that helps you be a better human. Invest in both training and coaching for you in this area. Training is broader based and coaching will focus on your particular issues