"I've just had a light bulb moment. I realise that I already have all the leadership skills I need - I don't need to keep adding. I just need to dial up or dial down the leadership traits I already have".
These are the words of Jackie Jeffrey, one of the participants in the Leadership Great South Coast program. I worked with this program recently and the fabulous Corrinne Armour was leading a session about "What Got You Here, Won't Get You There", based on the teaching of Marshall Goldsmith. There's a useful summary of his work in this area here.
In essence, Goldsmith says you should outline your leadership traits - your skills, talents and abilities. Then, you need to work out when and how they are helping you and when and how they might be holding you back. He asserts there's no need to replace traits - just build on what you've already got.
To build your leadership traits, Goldman suggests using both feedback and "feedforward".
Most of us are familiar with feedback - ask someone what they think of your work, reflect on what they say and amend as you need.
Feedforward focusses on the future. There are the five steps to implementing effective "feedforward":
Choose a leadership trait that has significant impact on you and/or the people around you
Describe this trait in a one-on-one session with a trusted friend or colleague
Ask for two suggestions as to how you could improve or change
Listen without judgement - do not argue with feedback
Close the conversation by saying thank you
Feedforward is a useful addition to your tool-box to amplify your leadership. It helps you explore what leadership traits you have and how they are helping you or holding you back.
How have you used - or how would you like to use - feedback and feedforward to build your leadership? What leadership traits do you have that have got you where you are? How are they helping you? How are they holding you back?