Finding Your Leadership Guru
The Internet is full of blogs, articles, podcasts, videos and e-books created by business leaders. That’s why it can be overwhelming to even begin to find information that speaks to you. Nevertheless, if you want to be a successful manager, you can benefit from having a leadership guru.
Taken from the Sanskrit word meaning “expert, guide or teacher,” a guru is someone who possesses and shares knowledge in particular field. The best thing is that you don’t have to know your guru in person; you just need to have access to his or her knowledge — something that’s never been easier. So how can you find your leadership guru?
Determine what you’re looking for
It all starts with defining your own leadership philosophy. Why? Because while you can certainly learn from being challenged, you’ve already built your own leadership approach over the years. You don’t want to throw that all away. Instead, you want to find a guru whose philosophy aligns somewhat with your own. That way, you can keep building your approach instead of having to start over unnecessarily.
In addition, you should determine what areas you want to develop in. Do you want to focus on motivating people, on building collaborative workplaces, or on developing your teams? Once you’ve determined what your focus areas are, you can look for a guru who speaks about these topics.
Next, it’s time to start looking for your leadership guru. You do this by reading blogs, articles and books; listening to podcasts; and watching videos of various business leaders. If you need somewhere to start, check out Global Gurus’ infographic titled “World’s TOP Leadership Gurus and Their Leadership Philosophies.” Other sources include LinkedIn, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fortune and business or industry publications.
As you dive into the material you find, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who resonates with you? You want to follow someone whose style of writing and speaking engages, motivates, and challenges you.
- Who includes experiences or personal stories you can use as guidance? You won’t benefit from someone who merely shares theoretical knowledge or only speaks about his or her own accomplishments. Instead, you really need someone who provides context so you can translate the information to your own professional situations.
- Who produces a significant amount of useful content? While you don’t want someone who produces so many blogs and e-books that there’s too much information, you do want a steady stream of relevant content.
Don’t be fooled: Even the best business leaders in the world have their gurus — and if you keep this advice in mind, you can find yours, too!