How to get guidance and help?

No one leader has all the answers. Fortunately, most good leaders realize that having all the answers isn't the important part. The important part is knowing where to find those answers when you need them. There are several resources you can use to help you improve your leadership skills. From classes and seminars to the World Wide Web, today's leader has no excuse for avoiding betterment.

Have Your Own Mentor

You should also seek out the reverse of that relationship. Even seasoned leaders admit that there is always someone who has been in the game for a few more battles than they have.

Classes and Seminars

Classes and seminars are a quick immersion technique for learning specific leadership skills. Some colleges and universities offer management and leadership courses in their business schools, realizing the importance of people skills intrinsic to a leadership position. An MBA does not guarantee that you can successfully motivate employees. Other college courses can also be helpful to future managers. For example, public speaking is effective in teaching you how to organize thoughts and forcefully make a point. Psychology is another class that may help you to handle leadership responsibilities. In contrast to the kinds of problems that occur when you're working with computers, managing people can be less predictable. Learning how to interpret body language and other signals can go a long way toward helping a leader handle human nature. Some larger companies include some management classes in their corporate training catalog. For example, your company may offer classes on how to use your time more effectively, communicate better, encourage employees to meet goals, interview, or review an employee's performance. Companies often contract out such classes to companies that specialize in leadership training. Leadership courses are available also from companies that specialize in leadership training outside the workplace. Some nationally recognized leadership training companies include the Franklin Covey Leadership Center and Frank Lee Associates. You can also find courses in your area by looking in your Yellow Pages under "Career Development" or "Career Training."

 

Associations

Several associations exist for the sole purpose of helping their members be better leaders. Other associations are more trade-specific, but can also be beneficial and offer some leadership or management help. Networking is another good reason to seek out and join at least one association. Not only will you expose yourself to a greater chunk of the working world, but you'll also meet other people with goals and career aspirations that are similar to your own. Consult your local phone book or universities to find the associations in your field or geographic region.