Learning to lead: professional development starts at the top
Guest post by Alison Vidotto
I am often asked why I’m still studying. I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit of a perpetual student; I have studied most of my adult life. I figure that there is so much to learn and the more I learn the more I’m aware of what I don’t know!
A few years ago I completed an MBA, I thought that would really set me up with the knowledge I needed to run a business and an international charity. But there is so much more I need to learn. Don’t get me wrong, doing the MBA was the best thing I ever did for my business, I now make strategic decisions as part of my everyday working life. I have a much greater understanding of the big picture of my business and how I need to lead my team to where we want to go.
I have also learned that Leadership is a dynamic process. Leaders are not born, they are developed. Leadership has very little to do with position or title, it has to do with sharing a vision, building trust and having the skills necessary to get the results we need.
Leadership also has to do with continuous improvement. Great leaders are always learning and growing.
"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." – J. F. Kennedy
Since completing my MBA I have taken many courses, everything from short courses on social media, blogging and writing to advanced leadership qualifications. I am acutely aware that the growth and development of my business comes down to my growth and development as a person, a leader and a business owner.
For the past year or so Marketing has been my subject – yes, I’m still a student today. Of the many courses I’ve done some were great, others were not so great, but all of them contribute to the expertise I believe I need to run my business and teach my team. Continuous improvement keeps me up to date with what’s happening so I can be confident in my delivery.
“Education is the Mother of Leadership.” - Wendell Willkie
As a leader it is your job to develop not only the skills of your team but your own skills too. Your team and your clients will appreciate that you are continuously developing your skills and building knowledge to share with them.
Continuous education will build your business, build your team and ultimately, build your leadership skills. Professional development has been and will continue to be an important aspect of any leadership journey.
Alison Vidotto is an award winning author, professional speaker, CEO of Vidotto Group, leadership trainer and Founder and Managing Director of the Australian Charity for the Children of Vietnam.