Companies are in constant flux and being bombarded daily by change, chaos, and new priorities. As a leader how do you keep up, stay agile, and shift context at a moment’s notice? One way is to keep growing and expanding your skills. Or, in other words, keep your skills alive (KSA).
Aside from formal education and certifications, here are some informal ways to KSA.
Executing Coaching: This is a 1:1 relationship with an experienced coach who will help you set goals, root cause your pain points, and keep you accountable for taking action. This type of relationship requires transparency, risk-taking, and vulnerability on your part. With your permission, a coach will stretch you outside of your comfort zone and support you along the way. The outcome will be results that are sustainable and measurable. Executives are coached on many topics, including work-life balance, time management, career transition, developing teams, giving feedback, building relationships, networking, and enhancing presentation skills. Click here to find a qualified coach.
Mentoring: This is a different type of 1:1 relationship and can be internal or external to your company. A mentor is someone who teaches you the ropes of how they got to where they are and helps you get there, too. They can share their lessons learned, struggles, triumphs, and tips about internal culture that will help you avoid potential pitfalls. They can be considered a subject matter expert on your company, industry, or your current or future role. Click here to learn more about coaching and mentoring.
Self-Study: Learning at your own pace, location, or according to your own schedule is an effective way to keep your skills alive. Currently, there are many online leadership courses that are either synchronous (live classes with an entire group) or asynchronous (recorded classes where you login at whatever time you like). Executives find self-study to be helpful because they can learn while they travel, at night, or whenever it’s convenient for them. It does take discipline, though, to adhere to a schedule that aligns with your other commitments. However, if you are working with a coach at the same time they will hold you accountable for this commitment.
Click on the image above to check out some courses that I authored that are taught by a qualified instructor through Knowledge City. The great thing about these courses is that they were developed in small chunks instead of many hours of content. Research in adult learning theory has shown that information is more easily retained when delivered in short snippets.
KSA is critical for leaders who want to set a positive example in the workplace.
In addition, as an effective leader, it’s a good best practice to encourage your direct reports to keep their skills alive too. Check out my courses and please send me some feedback about what you think.