How Strategic Leaders Can Develop a Growth Mindset and Win

As we mark the end of another eventful year, I believe it is imperative to share actionable insights to help leaders thrive despite the disruptive and volatile operating environment. These actionable strategies are informed by insights I’ve gleaned from helping over 4,000 leaders and hundreds of organizations maximize their impact and thrive since my inception. TEXEM 12 years ago.

Talking about improving performance can be difficult, especially when there are disruptions such as those posed by the current pandemic. While it sounds difficult and intimidating in times of uncertainty, you will agree with me that there are frameworks that perform exceptionally well despite the many challenges they face. Such cases provide an opportunity to learn how these leaders navigate through the storms of the pandemic, competition, disruption and other headwinds.

As a leader in the public or private sector, you must learn and adopt the right strategies and skills that can help you influence impactful actions within your team. You need to engage, encourage and stimulate them to achieve your organization’s goals effectively and efficiently. Besides, contrary to what many people think, leadership is not about coercion. Sometimes your team needs a little coaching and inspiration to improve their performance.

It can be argued that certain qualities and characteristics are common among successful leaders who continually contribute to nation building; how these people respond to circumstances, including disruptive pandemics such as COVID 19 and the strategic choices they make, are all critical factors in their success and effective leadership. More importantly, the way people react to the need for change and transition, especially in the digital age, sets them apart from their counterparts who might struggle or perform poorly. If you are looking to be a leader, it turns challenges into vitamins; here are some of the essential skill sets you need:

a. communication skills

The ability to present information in a clear and effective manner is very vital for any leader who aspires to develop an impactful and lasting legacy. While presentation skills are required by almost all jobs these days, being a leader requires knowing how to get messages across effectively. It is essential for success. About 70 percent of all change initiatives fail in part because of poor communication. So, to be successful in inspiring transformation, you need to enhance your private and public presentations across multiple platforms. Writing skills are also an essential part of strategic communication. Strategic leaders communicate with clarity, confidence, conviction, build trust and inspire others to transform.

b. Financial awareness

Financial awareness, including the ability to use a variety of financial knowledge and skills such as budgeting, investing, and financial management, will enable you to effectively manage your organization’s financial resources. You also need these skills to communicate your organization’s financial situation and performance to all stakeholders. It will also inform the choices and actions you take and those that should be postponed.

vs. Entrepreneurship: taking risks

Leadership requires an entrepreneurial mindset that can turn problems into opportunities that add value and propel the organization towards success. Thus, leaders must be risk takers and experts when navigating uncertainties. And in today’s environment, entrepreneurial activity is more necessary than ever. It’s necessary to solve problems, improve performance, and thrive in the face of ever-increasing competition.

D. computer skills

Developing IT skills as a leader will enable you to adopt and use emerging technologies. From artificial intelligence to quantum computing, big data and the Internet of Things, all of these technological capabilities can disrupt the dominant business model, so every leader needs to be tech-savvy. Therefore, you also need these skills to be efficient, effective and easily solve technical, human and business problems. So, you may just need to acquire computer skills in many areas, especially in project management, cybersecurity, software development, data analysis, etc. To achieve this, you need to take short courses on it, and it will help you improve your performance as a manager.

e. Personal motivation

As a prolific leader, you need to be motivated before you seek to motivate your team or those you lead. It becomes easy to provide strategic direction and inspire your team to achieve organizational goals when you are motivated. But how do you get motivated? Well, be open to change, learn from others, reflect on your progress, balance your emotions, reflect on it; the business you keep and what you read and still make positive affirmative statements.

F. Time management

Listen, effective time management boosts strategic leadership. So you need to get into the habit of using time well. Each day, make a to-do list, prioritize your tasks, be focused, manage distractions, and track your time. Note that if everyone has 24 hours, some use it well, while others end up wasting their time. The best performance, growth, and other successes come when you manage your time well, so you need to do it and do it efficiently.

g Action plan for change or personal development plan

As a leader, you need a written record of your self-reflection and improvement, which should also form your course of action that you will use to achieve your goals. It should describe your development goals, areas for improvement and optimizing performance as a leader. Most importantly, it should outline the tactics you will use to achieve the best performance, the strategies of which should be broken down into actionable steps, and each step should have a time frame. Thus, this action plan must be intelligent, that is to say specific, measurable, achievable and limited in time.

h. Embrace the change

Another typical behavior of leaders who perform at peak performance despite the plethora of contextual challenges is that they are always willing to embrace change. Ideally, change is always part of the business or the day-to-day management of the business. So, as a manager, you need to be open-minded and ready to embrace change. Note that with ever changing technologies, ways of thinking and other dynamics, you cannot expect to apply the same old techniques of leadership strategies. This is how you are beaten and left behind as your competition grows and reaches the heights of success.

I. Invest in education

Another vital requirement for self, team, organizational and society improvement is the commitment to lifelong learning. You will agree that leadership is a journey, not a destination. So, as a strategic leader, you must continually expand your knowledge and inspire your organization to embrace a culture of lifelong learning. This could be a way to develop basic skills and capabilities that could generate sustainable competitive advantage. To gain a sustainable competitive advantage, you can enroll in short courses with reputable providers. One of these leading consulting firms is TEXEM. Over time, TEXEM has proven to be a leader in providing actionable learning platforms and the best programs for executives looking to steer their organizations towards success and the highest possible growth potentials. It gives you the opportunity to hear, engage, and learn from some of the best faculties and leaders from world-renowned universities and other learning centers. TEXEM is also renowned for having a rigorous methodology that makes learning challenging, exciting and impactful.

To wrap up

Overall, the most strategic leaders are those who have a growth mindset and strive for continuous improvement. For them, past success is no reason to settle for everything. Rather, it is a reason to acquire more skills, especially those that help increase their capabilities, facilitate profitable growth of their organizations and have a culture of renewal. But what kind of skills are needed? We are in a digital age; therefore, digital, soft and conceptual skills are vital for survival, growth and improved performance. Moreover, you can get insight into the behavior of customers, their needs and the best ways to connect with them with such skills.

Through lifelong learning and education, you have the opportunity to both network outdoors, share experiences with others, and most importantly, develop your leadership skills. Influential leaders invest in their leadership, and whether you are in the public or private sector, you must embrace lifelong learning as well. All organizations need leaders who keep growing. So, to grow your business, develop yourself as an executive or leader. Learn and practice the habit of constantly striving to improve your performance, even when you are already doing well.

Dr Abubakre is a British entrepreneur with an unprecedented passion for Africa, scholar and founder and non-executive chairman of TEXEM, UK, who has trained over 4,000 executives in UK and Africa over the past ten years. He is a member of the advisory board of the London Business School Africa Society, teaches at Coventry, one of the top 15 UK universities. In 2010, Alim was selected as one of Virgin Media’s Top 100 Emerging Entrepreneurs in UK and accompanied the Mayor of London to his entourage in Nigeria in 2015. Abubakre is a FIOEE Fellow of the British Institute of companies and entrepreneurs and Senior Member of the Academy of Higher Education.

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