Weekly Leadership Challenge

March 11, 2013

Leaders may feel like they need fewer challenges, not more. In fact, what they need are new challenges, not the same ones, over and over. The focus of today’s post is on how to challenge yourself in new ways and, in the process, develop as a leader.

Digital Photography School offers a weekly photo challenge to their readers. These weekly challenges are meant to expand your capabilities. It can involve the technical aspects of your camera (aperture, shutter, ISO, focal length, etc.), using light (natural and artificial), looking for color (bright, subdued, contrasting), shooting or processing in black and white, or creating the sense of movement in the photo. I sometimes struggle to complete the task, but whenever I fully engage in the task, I learn. I learn even when I look at the product of others. I’ve improved as a photographer as a result and as a leader, simply from drawing connections between these two seemingly disparate fields–photography and leadership.

What’s a hobby you enjoy or used to enjoy? Take a lesson–to increase your understanding of that pursuit, reignite your interest, and draw connections with your leadership role.

Here are five other ways to challenge yourself and develop your leadership capacity in the process:

  1. Journal for two weeks (daily) about those things for which you are grateful.
  2. Read a book on emotional intelligence (I recommend Emotional Intelligence 2.0)
  3. Get a 360-degree feedback assessment and work with a professional coach on the debrief
  4. Read a leadership blog every day for a month. The CO2 Partners blog provides excellent content, but we cannot be all things to all people. I read Leadership Freak every day.
  5. Watch a movie that pulls at your heart strings, and then examine how and why it had that effect on you.
Obviously, there is no end to the ways in which you can challenge yourself. Sometimes these challenges work best when you’re given an assignment, and sometimes they work best when you create your own challenge. How are you going to challenge yourself this week?


Reach your next peak

We help leaders expand the change they want to see in their teams, organizations, and the wider world.