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3 More Things Emerging Leaders Need the Most (to Succeed)

Leading a team through uncharted waters is intimidating and not for the faint of heart. As a newbie, the pressure to succeed can be intense. Results from a Center for Creative Leadership survey (of over 10,000 young workers from 28 countries) showed fear as a significant factor in avoiding leadership. For those aspiring to lead, what do they need to take the plunge?

In my original post, 3 Things Emerging Leaders Need the Most; I contended that support, room to fail forward, and genuine feedback were essential for success. But after further introspection and understanding, I now believe emerging leaders need more. 

Undoubtedly, when organizations support new leaders, it can result in more significant commitment, investment, and advancement in the workplace. In their report, CCL suggests three strategies to attract, retain and provide support for emerging leaders. They argue that “the time is ripe to revisit our beliefs about what leadership looks like, who can become a leader, and the support needed to help them succeed.”

But in addition to support, one must have a leader-focused attitude, a vision for the future, and an effective burnout prevention strategy to succeed in leadership. These are the three additional considerations emerging leaders need. And here’s what they could look like:

A Leader-focused Attitude

A leader-focused attitude is essential for successful leadership. An article in the MIT Sloan Management Review, identified six leadership mindsets — Sociopath, Egoist, Chameleon, Dynamo, Builder and Transcender. Can you guess the preferred leadership mindset from the titles?

According to the authors, most successful leaders possess a portfolio of personality types consisting of larger proportions of Dynamo, Builder, and Transcender and lower proportions of Egoist, Chameleon, and Sociopath. These individuals are more strategic and influential, create teams with more unique ideas, and add greater value to their organizations.

Consequently, aspiring leaders must choose which approach most accurately captures their attitude and, if necessary, be open to changing their perspective.

A Vision for the Future

Tony Robbins, a famous author and motivational speaker, once said: “Create a vision and never let the environment, other people’s beliefs, or the limits of what has been done in the past shape your decisions.” In other words, having a well-defined goal and the tenacity to reach it is vital to inspire followers. No one chooses to follow someone who lacks vision, clarity, and confidence. Emerging leaders must demonstrate an unwavering conviction and drive to reach their goals — do whatever it takes. This entails strategic planning and charting a course of action to help every team member win.

An Effective Burnout Prevention Strategy

As an up-and-coming leader, what methods do you utilize to quell stress? Are you comfortable with asking for help? What steps are you taking to protect yourself from the adverse effects of burnout?

The importance of an effective burnout prevention strategy shouldn’t be overlooked. Burnout is a well-known workplace hazard that can cause absenteeism, decreased performance, and attrition. And research has shown that emerging leaders are at high risk for burnout. For example, three in 10 U.S. workers report they “very often” or “always” feel burned out at work. 

Mental Health America surveyed 11,300 employees across 17 industries and found that positive workplace mental health requires investment from all organizational levels. The report also uncovered high stress, distraction, limited managerial support, and increasing but low employee comfort when seeking help.

Gallup’s Prevent and Overcome Burnout: A Strengths-based guide offers valuable tips if you are unsure how to tackle burnout. For instance, it highlights tapping into one’s strengths to combat it.

According to the research, most development experiences occur on the job (70%); with other people (20%); and through formal coursework/training (10%). Therefore, consider how to support emerging leaders’ success — what obstacles will they face, how can an environment be created to learn and make mistakes, and how can officials provide honest and meaningful feedback?

Shakima “Kima” Tozay is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker whose government career spans over 15 years, beginning in the U.S. Navy. Kima has dedicated her career to serving the military community in various roles across diverse settings and agencies.  Her current position is as a Medical Social Worker serving Veterans. She is also a Social Work doctoral student at the University of Alabama. Kima is a Certified Diversity Professional (CDP®). She also holds certifications in Executive Leadership from Graduate School, USA, and a certificate from Stanford University in Leveraging Diversity and Inclusion for Organizational Excellence. Connect with Kima on LinkedIn.

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