Make time to develop leadership skills

11/16/2012 09:40:00 AM
Bryan Silbermann

Bryan Silbermann, Produce Marketing AssociationBryan Silbermann, Produce Marketing AssociationMany of us will take time this holiday season to refocus on life’s aspects that matter most.

You’ll likely take time out to give thanks, to spend with family and friends, and to reflect on accomplishments and make resolutions for a new year.

What about leveraging this season of renewed focus to take time to strengthen your leadership abilities?

Lessons in leadership contribute not only to on-the-job effectiveness, but also to personal effectiveness. In your community, confidence to lead can influence social good. At work, leadership talent remains a company’s best competitive advantage.

Simply put, leaders who invest in their own development have better ideas, execute those ideas better and develop other people better.

The problem is time. Senior executives’ hours get so squeezed it can seem there’s barely time for night’s rest let alone time to retreat for strategic learning.

The reality is that finding time to invest in professional development is like finding time to exercise or prepare a home-cooked meal of fresh fruits and vegetables — it’s essential to good health and well worth the effort.

Here are three simple steps to help you find time for leadership wellness. Also consider what these PMA members say about their own leadership development experiences.

1. Begin with awareness

Acknowledging the importance of investing in yourself opens your mind to recognizing when and where to find it.

Exit surveys at various PMA events reveal industry executives acquire professional development from many places.

They cite internal company programs, publications, associations, academic institutes, consultants — and even networking — as resources.

So look for lessons in leadership all around you. Some industry members have said the result of their doing so…

 

  •  “…challenges you to think about yourself, your organization and the people you can influence daily to make a difference in your performance and others around you.” — Van Argiros, vice president of sales and marketing, Combs Produce

  •  “…challenges your way of thinking and leading your company. And, most importantly, gives you tools to make a difference.” — Joe Pezzini, chief operating officer, Ocean Mist Farms

  •  “…inspired me to grow as a leader, learn from others and create a compelling view of the future.” — Douglas Ronan, vice president of marketing, Driscoll Strawberry Associates


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