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Yes, You Can Learn To Be A Leader

Leadership is a skill you can develop with practice and reflection. In episode 2 of our bite-size sessions on coaching Zia Savel explains why technically excellent managers turn to an executive coach to help them become better leaders.

Video Transcript

Jude: Do you think that anyone can learn to be a leader?

Zia: Yes. For this, there are two things. There are people who are naturally born leaders. I can look at my children now, and they are leaders. Get out of their way, they will see something, do something and take people with them.

And then there are others. And certainly my experience in energy, where people have been promoted due to their technical expertise. So certainly in the energy industry, where I've got some experience, there are people who have moved up through technical ranks and then suddenly become people leaders or business leaders. And this is where the skill set is slightly different in the fact that people are so dynamic. In engineering, you might have an option of A, B, or perhaps C, but with people, it's so diverse the things that are going to come up.

Definitely, it's learnable.

So, for people to learn to be a leader, it's being able to focus on how we show up ourselves as leaders, but then also how to adapt and respond to each of our individual team or business needs as they arise, and they don't arrive just when we plan them. They arise in random moments. So, it's being able to pivot and move and respond appropriately for each situation. So definitely it's learnable.

But it is a little bit like learning a new skill that you have to practice, observe, reflect, and give it another go, and obviously, everybody is different.

It's being able to respond appropriately for each situation.

Jude: If you could say there are three tools that you could give to leaders, what would they be?

Zia: Listening. Number one, listening, two, engaging with your people, and three, having the awareness of the external market. What's happening beyond your own desk, and that might be the external market financially, but also beyond your own desk, beyond your own door, who's sitting outside and making those connections.