I was listening to an interview with Kate Jenkins when she was talking about the independent review into parliamentary workplaces. Of course, the findings of the review, which she chaired, are shocking and illuminating.
But one thing she said during the interview stuck with me.
Jenkins explained that often parliamentarians get elected and are suddenly expected to put together and manage a team of staff, without getting any training on how to lead or manage.
All that while adjusting to the realities of having to travel for work, being away from their family, without access to their normal support mechanisms.
And this is the reality MANY leaders in every field, not just politics, face when they find themselves in a leadership position for the first time.
But what’s interesting is that this report directly connects this lack of leadership support with a toxic culture and incredibly damaging outcomes to many people.
I can’t say I’m surprised.
The problem is, we need to recognise early on and at every stage of a leader’s career, that leaders are not BORN.
They are MADE. And they are in continuous making.
Leadership development is not a nice-to-have, optional expense on your professional development budget, a last-minute tax deduction.
We simply cannot become good leaders without support.
So, no matter what stage of your leadership journey you’re at, I invite you to reflect on what you struggle with, what you could use help with, and find an expert to support you with it.
And if you think you’re not struggling with anything, but you have never worked with a leadership expert, find one anyway, and explore what they could do for you.
It may be someone your peers recommend, someone you heard good things about, someone you read about in the paper. Whoever you felt an affinity with, seek them out, have a free consultation, and commit to great leadership.