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  • Writer's pictureAnnie Frisoli

The Gift of Leadership Development

Georgia Recreation & Parks Association hosts an annual leadership school, which is a three year process, and I am honored to have worked with the year one attendees the past two years. Our time together is a unique retreat style experience in which the professionals gather for two and a half days to take a deep dive to engage in leadership conversation and strategies. I have recently returned from my trip to Georgia and my time with these professionals provided me an opportunity to see the inspiration and transformation that occurs when leaders gift themselves time to develop.

Why Leaders Need Continued Learning and Development

We turn to leaders when we have a problem, we turn to leaders to be pointed in the right direction. We rely on leaders to have the answers, but more importantly, we rely on leaders to guide us toward finding answers ourselves.

Taking on a leadership role is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re reading this, you already know how exhausting it can be and also how rewarding it can be!

Since others look to leaders for guidance and to help them find solutions, it only makes sense that leaders need to stay on top of their game.

Technology, society, and the workplace progress rapidly, and leaders can’t sit back and not continue to learn about what impacts the work place. Leaders need to be given time (or give themselves the time) to engage and take an active approach to learning about best practices and reflecting on their own leadership.

With a bit of planning and an inquisitive mind, you can stay tapped into your full leadership potential.

You Have to Slow Down and Invest Time in Yourself

Most leaders love learning ways to improve themselves, create happier workplaces, and share their knowledge with their team. But even the most dedicated leaders sometimes get so busy that investing time, money, or resources in themselves seems selfish, frivolous, or unnecessary.

There’s a major flaw in this way of thinking, though, because when you put off your continuing education and development, you are missing opportunities to learn about creating efficiencies - either with systems or with people that will ultimately serve those you are trying to lead.

Instead of becoming flustered and suffering from waning confidence, active participation in your development enables you to respond more quickly, assuredly, and accurately. I saw first hand how individuals confidence grew this past week, simply by diving into leadership training. It was AMAZING to hear how the leaders of Georgia plan to lead a little differently after they gifted themselves the time to engage in their leadership development.

How to Stay on Top of Your Learning and Development

It’s best to look ahead when it comes to staying knowledgeable in your field and making sure you’re on top of the best leadership advice.

That’s why I recommend committing to measurable goals and setting aside time in your calendar in advance for researching programs, workshops, and more.

Write down how much you want to learn in your career goals and get specific. How many trainings, workshops, books, or podcasts will you complete each quarter? Write down a reasonable goal, then block time in your calendar every quarter to plan time to research or talk to your peers about what’s coming up and where you want to invest your time.

The best part about tapping into this leadership power? You’ll inspire others to do the same and you’ll have plenty of recommendations to help them level up, too!

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