What must I change to be a future fit HR leader?

I began my leadership journey in the mid 90s when there was a focus on polishing weaknesses. It would go something like this: “Yes – you are very strong in these areas … tick the box … and now let’s move on and talk about strengthening these areas where you have weaknesses.”

These days the approach to personal development has changed, but there are hangovers from the old ways of thinking. Some leaders still focus too much on their weaknesses; those who have worked very hard on a weakness can come to believe that it has become an area of strength.

At a surface level this thinking can work. However, it will always take more energy to work with a developed, or perceived strength, than working with a natural strength. As happens to all of us when the proverbial hits the fan, it’s these developed strengths that can become pitfalls. This causes issues for those around us as well as for ourselves.

So – how does that impact on our ability to be future fit leaders?

A key attribute of a future fit leader is the ability to be an authentic leader; to achieve this we must know and leverage our natural strengths and talents, as well as recognising our potential pitfalls. Through having clarity on our natural strengths and talents, we are able to build teams and support networks around us that can challenge and complement our skill sets.

A great example of this is Steve Jobs, best known for his role as the CEO of Apple. However he also played a key role in turning film company Pixar into a multi-billion-dollar success. After Jobs was ousted from Apple in 1985, he bought Pixar (at the time called Graphics Group) from Lucas Film. Jobs was a visionary with an entrepreneurial mindset; he was a disrupter and perfectionist; it was this combined with the fantastic creative and people skills of Ed Catmull the president at Pixar that made the studio such a success.

Ed Catmull’s skills lay in getting the best from the people around him through listening to their needs, leveraging their strengths and removing barriers to performance and creativity. Through understanding their own and each others talents both he and Jobs excelled as leaders.

Life is busy, more stressful and there is more information to sieve through than ever before. Of course we can then get lost in both the internal and external noise. It is critical to know your true strengths and talents and to leverage those strengths. Refocusing in this way will not only make you more effective and efficient but also take less of your energy. It will allow you to chose to be less reactive, be more reflective and be a more successful leader.

By working with your natural talents you will have more energy to be creative and think creatively and laterally. This will allow you the headspace to be more open-minded to possible solutions, that will help prepare your business for the unseen future.

Come and join us and like minded colleagues on the 30th March to uncover your natural talents, be part of the discussion around how to become a future fit HR leader and how achieving that will enable you to future proof your business.