How to Grow Professionally as a Leader

Business success comes down to preparation.  Authentic, resilient leadership and trust are the cornerstones of the coaching relationship you need to have with your people. Building trust by relating to and connecting with your team to create mutual respect is one of the lessons that leaders need to learn in order to know how to grow professionally as a leader. 

If you’re a down-to-earth and approachable leader, you can find ways to connect on a level that means it doesn’t matter if you’re talking to the CEO or the team’s newest member.  Everything begins with respect. 

Understanding professional leadership growth is a critical part of your development. Your personal core values and the focus of your continuing professional development as a leader should include the value of respect. Respect is the foundation of productive communication — when you respect other people’s opinions, you are much more likely to come to a resolution that will be better for everyone.

How to grow professionally as a leader is something that most of us strive to learn throughout our working lives.

Leadership and Growth


Skilled leadership imposes structure and discipline that makes a group of individuals into a well-oiled team. In growing professionally as a leader, you should be seeking ways that you can engage your people positively in achieving their collective goals. 

As Aristotle said;

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Or in other words, people like predictability; they like to know that they’re all focusing on the same goals. But how do good leaders provide that predictability and structure without becoming stale and boring and ending up with a disengaged, unproductive team? 

How to grow professionally as a leader has a lot to do with protecting the discipline in your organization without sacrificing the respectful relationships you have built. 

Growth Professionally as a Leader Requires Resilient Leadership 

Authentic and resilient leadership are built on three central pillars.

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Vulnerability

These are values that also build the foundation of trust, which is so key. But it can be tricky to figure out how you can make yourself vulnerable in the context of growing professionally as a leader.

Showing vulnerability is overwhelmingly about having a sense of humility. People are proud of their jobs, and when you offer them the opportunity to share their professional knowledge of anything from digital marketing to franchise development, or sales you come to them as a vulnerable learner. Servant leadership is not a weakness; on the contrary, humility balanced with strong leadership can be very helpful. It disarms your subordinates and encourages the company to realize that you are open to all suggestions and ideas. 

Your open mindset as a leader shows that you are:

  1. Willing to learn the business itself
  2. Always ready to be agile and change tactics or strategy 
  3. Open to input from everyone in the organization from the most junior person upwards

Lead by Example


To be part of a business where people believe in your joint mission, you have to set the correct vision for the team. And if you’re not walking the walk, then all is lost. 

Experienced leaders can sometimes feel that it’s challenging to communicate with individuals in the company that don’t think the same that they do, but part of how to grow professionally as a leader involves cracking that communication code.  It is vital for people joining your industry to have autonomy and purpose, and the most efficient way to help them achieve that is to share their vision and mission in a relatable way. 

Just go right back to sharing your motto.

It requires the entire team to reach professional and business goals for the company, so it doesn’t hurt to remind everyone, learn what they’re doing, and let them know that it’s valued. Accountability and respect go a long way to reinforcing what you say as a leader and helping your team engage with you on a personal and professional level. 

If you’d like to learn more about how to grow professionally as a leader, you can not only continue to enjoy our blog posts but also head over to the podcast The Athletics of Business when I discuss all aspects of leadership with a variety of insightful guests.


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