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Thursday 23rd Mar 2023

How to develop your leadership capability

One of the most powerful things you can do in your lifetime is to grow your leadership capability and skills. You see, we are all leaders. You may lead your family, your local football club, your department of 5 people, your start-up business of 2 people, your business of 100 people or even a global enterprise of 1,000’s. Leadership is influence, and it starts with you.

Building your leadership capability

What is leadership capability?

Leadership capability is, in essence, a way of thinking, feeling, behaving, and acting. It’s your ability to develop a sense of who you are and what you want to achieve; you set the vision and the example; you inspire, engage, direct and teach others.

In a competitive market with a greater demand for businesses, people and resources, leaders play a critical and ever-increasing role in maximising the performance of their teams and, ultimately, the business.

It is, therefore, essential that you are armed with the tools, the confidence and the skills to be the best you can be in maximising your potential, leading the business and unlocking the potential in your people.

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Jack Welch


Leadership capability – three key competencies

Consider leadership capability as having three key competencies: I Lead Self, I Lead the Business, and I Lead Others.


Building your leadership capability three key competencies

#1 Leadership Capability – I Lead Self

Leadership Capability - I Lead Self

Being a great leader of others starts with being a great leader of yourself. This is the inner game of leadership and articulating the answer to questions like; Why should you lead anyone? Being a leader of others starts with being a great leader of yourself. It is not an ‘Outside-In’ journey but an ‘Inside-Out’ one.

#2 Leadership Capability – I Lead the Business

Leadership capability - I Lead the business

Being a great business leader means clearly understanding the business goals and HOW, and as a commercially savvy leader, you can build high-performing teams, a customer outcome-focused organisation and lead a strategic business growth agenda. You need to be clear on the business’s WHY, purpose, and goals, what you are trying to achieve, and why and how you intend to deliver it.

#3 Leadership Capability – I Lead Others

Leadership Capability - I Lead Others

As a great people leader, you recognise that unlocking people potential is a critical success factor in achieving business goals. You understand what makes people tick, you give inspirational and developmental feedback, have great performance conversations and celebrate success.

Great leaders recognise that their people will only ever be a reflection of them – aptly captured in the expression the aircrew use when doing the safety demonstration before taking off “Fit your mask before you help anyone else!”

How do you enable your people (others) through the HOW and unlock their potential on this journey together? How do you bring out the best of each individual, so they’re bringing their best version to work?

Is it…I Lead Self, the Business and Others,

OR… I Lead Self, Others and the Business?

When I share the three key competencies of leadership capability – I Lead Self, I Lead the Business, I Lead Others – I am often asked why I present them in the order of Self, Business and Others. Surely it should be Self, Others and then Business?

And my response is always this…

Great leadership starts with looking in the mirror…I Lead Self.

.After you know yourself, you need to know how to lead the business – I Lead the Business.

With clarity leading the business, the final competency in building your leadership capability is – I lead others. 

Developing your leadership capability does not happen overnight. It takes focus and commitment and requires consistency of thought and action.

What leadership capability are you building in yourself, your business and others?

Do you think I Lead Self, I Lead the Business, I Lead Others?


 Check out these leadership resources

Which kind of leader are you?

Why great leadership is an inside job first

6 skillsets you need to effectively lead the business

What you need to lead others to success

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