How to Cultivate Leadership

Jennifer Garvey Berger’s book, “Changing on the Job: Developing Leaders for a Complex World,” earned praise from industry executives and academic experts at Microsoft, Fidelity, Harvard University and Boston College. Why? Read some of the insights this leadership coach and PhD offers about what good leaders do—and what separates them from the pack:

What are three habits a competent leader practices regularly?  

“First, ask questions and expand your curiosity. Second, view something from multiple perspectives. Third, break things down into manageable parts. It is the unwieldy combination of those practices that opens up new possibilities.”

Do even the best leaders make mistakes?   

“Yes. Sometimes they make mistakes that have a negative impact on the people around them. And they may not even realize the impact it had. But the best leaders never stop learning and never become so arrogant or complacent that they stop believing they have room to grow. They never become so hopeless or discouraged that they believe it’s not worth the effort. John F. Kennedy wrote that ‘leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.’ The good leaders (almost) never forget this.”

What else separates great leaders from everyone else?

“Great leaders create environments where people can be their ‘biggest.’ We all have had an experience with people who make us smaller and less capable versus those who make us more capable. Good leaders remember that their perspective isn’t the only truth and welcome the perspectives of others.”

If I want to become more of a leader today, how should I start?

“The most important thing?  Believe that you can change and begin to look for the ways you might need to by asking for feedback from others. Forgive yourself for your limitations (rather than denying or beating yourself up about them), and then seek growth in everything you do.”

Ready to improve your leadership presence? Check out Garvey Berger’s book here, and register for our next Leadership Presence & Image Skills program today!