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Lessons for Leaders

By Dr Ido van der Heijden

Lessons for Leaders

“An unexamined life is not worth living”

Five ways in which Cranfield’s Personal Transformation for Leaders Programme can change the way you lead your business and your people.

1. Get to know yourself better
You cannot be a good leader without a good understanding of yourself. By developing a deeper level of self-awareness you can better understand your strengths, weaknesses, values, motivations and beliefs. This enhanced knowledge will equip you to champion and model the culture most appropriate for your business.

2. Improve your Emotional Intelligence
Good leaders often have a high level of Emotional Intelligence, which enables them to identify and regulate their own feelings and the feelings of those around them. Improving your emotional intelligence gives you a greater awareness of how your words and actions affect your team, colleagues and those you want to influence.

3. Sharpen your ability to see opportunity in uncertainty
Leaders need the right mind set; know who they are and what they stand for to deal successfully with uncertain and ambiguous situations. In an environment where the strategic direction can be unclear, leaders who are able to embrace the uncertainty can identify opportunities where others see threats.

4. Regulate to best effect the impact of pressurised situations on your team
Leadership is about giving the people you are responsible for the right amount of challenge as well as making them feel supported and secure. No one likes working in survival mode. By being able to manage your emotions, you can step back from the situation and build trust in your leadership.

5. Understand the behaviours of others
Quality leaders have the elusive skill of being able to ‘walk into someone else’s shoes’. If you have the ability to understand the behaviours of others you’ll be better able to understand the needs of your employees and those you want to influence. As a result you’ll create a culture where people feel valued, listened to and an environment in which innovation and creativity can flow.

Research shows that leaders who participate in Personal Transformation programmes become better leaders. These more self -aware leaders deliver positive results for their organisation and as a result often get promoted to more senior roles.

You can start your own personal transformation today by registering for Cranfield’s Personal Transformation for Leaders Programme.


Dr Ido van der Heijden, Visiting Fellow for Praxis at Cranfield School of Management. 

Tags: leadership, skills, career

Cranfield Executive Development