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The changing face of leadership and the skills that are necessary to be successful in the modern age move and change with the time. Success as a leader requires you to maintain a relevant mindset and become self-aware of your impact on people.

Looking back on my leadership career, much of what I learned were examples I had observed as a child and through my growing years. Many of those examples don’t work in the modern age of leadership, and I had to adjust and change along the way .

Over the years, it was my facilitation skills that helped me become a better leader. I would simply facilitate to my core values, assess a class’ strengths, and instinctively guide, move, pause or redirect my facilitation  to the betterment of the participants. I called it “pivoting with the participants”. Even though the journey zigzagged everyday, we found a way to achieve our goals and get to the end with everyone satisfied.

Learning to be a great facilitator is a key to modern leadership. The ability to guide people to find solutions is key to learning and leading. I believe all the answers are in the room, and it’s the facilitators job to create the path, just like a leader should today.

In the 21st century, with facilitating in mind, here are my tips for great leadership :

  1. Define and recheck your message. Define boundaries and expectations.
  2. Train on core values, what will drive engagement. It’s always the people that execute the process, not the other way around.
  3. Be aware and listen to current leader influencers who keep you relevant and current with the times. The top influencers see leading from a very global level . Everyone needs multiple influencers and mentors.
  4. Once you have a vision, be ready to define and explain your “why”. It’s the “why” that drives people to perform beyond what they thought was possible.
  5. Finally, be authentic, communicate often, embrace coaching , silently remove roadblocks, and champion a team mindset

Remember, autonomy is not a bad word. At any given time, people are learning or moving towards a task or goal. If they are learning, give them direction, and if they are doing, support the effort and coach .

In our current climate there are no best practices, just “next practices” as leadership is a moving target and needs to be recalibrated often.

Ken Blanchard said “Leading is what you do with people, not to people…”. That holds true … good luck.

Reach out with any questions, developing great leaders is what I do!

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