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Our experience with leadership development is that mastering these skills takes time and practice and it may take years. The key is to be aware of the right things to practice. What follows is some of what we’ve learned about what is crucial to practice. The effective executive:

  1. Connects well with people, produces safety, trust, and authenticity in interactions, and encourages the voice of others.
  2. Listens well to what others care about.
  3. Knows what their people care about. They are not just production drones, but have a vision for the future that brings meaning to their work – this inspires others.
  4. Knows the power of conversation. All action comes from commitment, that commitment enables coordination through clear agreements that can be trusted, and all this happens in conversation.
  5. Is curious about their world and always looking to learn as a way to open possibilities.
  6. Brings a centered presence and is aware of the possibilities found within breakdowns. Executives know we can always take action from where we are/
  7. Recognizes that “Not Knowing” is the starting point of new action, not a barrier to it.
  8. Is an innovator. Uses conversations to speculate, design, experiment, and create something new, not just follow old formulas.
  9. Sees assessments as a source of new value. By listening to where our assessments come from and what they are based upon, the executive can create new possibilities by making new promises.
  10. Links possibilities to actions. Effective executives see and create possibilities, and then move those possibilities into action that creates value as a meaningful contribution to others.

Developing these capabilities is a path of practice, of seeing the world through new eyes, and of always being a beginner at the edge of the unknown. It’s a path of building the emotional and embodied strengths to hold the future, to meet fear without giving away your power to it, and to take care of yourself and others.

If you’d like to develop your skills as an executive, or prepare yourself for future advancement, then we invite you to explore our Foundations of Generative Leadership Course, or schedule a conversation with someone from our team to guide your path for advancement.