Developing Your Leadership Philosophy
Illustration by Neil Webb

Defining your professional goals


From:

Developing Your Leadership Philosophy

with Mike Figliuolo
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Video: Defining your professional goals

As far as leading yourself, you need to know where you're headed. What is your ultimate destination? What's your professional goal? This isn't about saying, "I want to get that promotion," or, "I want to have this particular job." It's really about, at the end of your career, what are they going to say about you? What do you want to stand for as a leader? By articulating that, you are setting an end-point that you can then make deliberate decisions along the way, to get there.
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Watch the Online Video Course Developing Your Leadership Philosophy
1h 24m Appropriate for all Jul 16, 2014

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If you want your team to trust you as a leader, it's important to articulate who you are, what you stand for, and why you're excited to lead them. In this course, author and executive leadership coach Mike Figliuolo shows you how to distill your leadership philosophy down to one simple page covering four critical aspects of leadership: leading yourself, leading the thinking, leading your people, and leading a balanced life. Get hands-on with introspective exercises that help you define and practice leading authentically, with a style that's uniquely yours. Along the way, discover how to share and socialize your vision, make decisions, motivate and mentor, and keep your whole life in perspective.

This course qualifies for 1.25 Category A professional development units (PDUs) through lynda.com, PMI Registered Education Provider #4101.

Topics include:
  • Developing authenticity
  • Discovering your personal inspiration
  • Defining your goals
  • Holding yourself accountable
  • Setting team standards
  • Making decisions
  • Motivating, inspiring, and developing people
  • Achieving a work-life balance
  • Sharing your leadership philosophy

  • The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
Subject:
Business
Author:
Mike Figliuolo

Defining your professional goals

As far as leading yourself, you need to know where you're headed. What is your ultimate destination? What's your professional goal? This isn't about saying, "I want to get that promotion," or, "I want to have this particular job." It's really about, at the end of your career, what are they going to say about you? What do you want to stand for as a leader? By articulating that, you are setting an end-point that you can then make deliberate decisions along the way, to get there.

I like to ask people, "What will your epitaph say?" That's a little bit grim, but it's a very clarifying question. For me, I would like mine to say, "He was always learning, teaching and coaching." That's what I would like to stand for, and I look for situations where I can live that maxim out. In terms of learning, it's a reminder. That maxim reminds me that I enjoy leaning new things. I'm the kind of guy, that when I hear a word I don't know, I go look it up.

When there's a new concept and I'm working with new people, and maybe a new client, I try to understand their business, because I enjoy learning. Teaching. I love to teach. It ties to other maxims that I've got around teaching, and helping people understand things. Coaching. I love the one-on-one aspect of a lot of the work that I do, and whether it's prior roles as a leader, or roles that I have now as I'm working with clients, I enjoy the coaching aspect of my work.

That maxim drives my behavior. Again, if I'm given choices, I can use my maxim to help me make that decision. If I'm given two pieces of work, one where I'll work by myself, and one where I can teach somebody something new, or I can coach them to be better, and enjoy the work that they do more, I'm obviously going to head in that direction. The beautiful thing about this maxim is it helps me be consistent. Eventually, the sum of all those choices I make, that say I'm about learning, teaching and coaching, will lead me down a professional path where I'm going to be the most satisfied with the work that I do.

That work satisfaction should result in better performance coming out of me. As you articulate your maxim, related to how you are going to shape your future, ask yourself, "What are the most satisfying aspects of my work?" "What do I want people saying about me when I'm gone?" "What do I really stand for as a leader?" "What type of work should I gravitate toward?" Again think through the emotionally-resonant aspect of that.

Think about particular situations that have been so satisfying for you that you tell people about them. When somebody asks you, "What's your biggest accomplishment?" the first thing that comes out of your mouth should be a hint as to what your maxim is, and as you reflect on those stories, and reflect on those situations, you should be able to very clearly articulate, "This is where I'm going in my future "and this is the maxim that will help get me there."

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