This week I listened to a podcast from Henry Cloud. He’s written a new book, called Boundaries for Leaders. In his book, he talks about how to develop yourself as a leader. He described your leadership development as having a balanced diet of four “food groups,” or four areas in which you need to make investments. The areas are:
- Relationships that will develop you. These could be mentors, coaches, examples, or models. Also, there is room here for challenging relationships. The more you learn to get along with that boss who pushes all your buttons, for example, the better leader you will be.
- Information. Simply put, you must gain expertise and knowledge in your field. Learn your business well, but also devour information on leadership itself. Books, conferences, and podcasts can all be valuable sources of information. A leader is a learner.
- Experience. You wouldn’t go to a surgeon who has only studied books but never actually performed a surgery. Leadership is the same way. If you are called to leadership, you need to gain experiences and get out of your comfort zone.
- Structure. Leadership Development can’t be a haphazard process. You must have a plan. You need to be balancing these categories in some kind of systematic way, so that you are maximizing your efforts.
What do you think of these categories?
What would you add?
Which has been the most valuable to you?