As a follow-up to recent post, I’d like to ask if you are a current leader or a leader in training? If you are one or the other, I’d like to suggest a few actions you can take that will help strengthen your current and future charismatic leadership skills. To begin with, consider taking time to engage in research projects that focus on real issues and needs via sound research and analysis. Consider business simulations that allow for interactive, team-based activities designed to encourage participants to create profitable and well-balanced companies for the benefit of all their stakeholders. Consider learning sets where participants challenge and support one another in order to help each other’s development and learning. Aimed at developing skills of reflection, as well as, constructive dialog and enquiry, these activities can provide the opportunity to discuss difficult and challenging issues within your workplace. They can also provide you opportunities to share your knowledge and experience which may very well illuminate new best practices for others.

For example, when implementing a learning set, each group member takes a fixed amount of time for his/her own use and benefit. The first section of time is used to present a current leadership issue – its context, history, facts surrounding it, and future options – all other participants listen without interruption. Next, fellow participants use the subsequent block of time to ask questions and offer suggestions, but not solutions. The final section of time is used to state what was learned, and how the individual proposes to implement the new learnings.

Finally, learning journals can be used as a way to record your learnings, growth, and on-going development. When using a learning journal, each entry should contain a factual and objective description of a particular real-life learning experience. There should also be an exploration of your thoughts on, and feelings about, the incident and a description of what you learned and how you’ll use the learning going forward. Regardless of whether the learning is tied to a core competency or the identification of a skill you do not fully possess, each documented learning can be pivotal in your journey towards excellence.