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Leadership Changes the World: Make Change Your New Year’s Resolution

By Tacy Byham, Ph.D.

Tacy Byham In May 2015, Rich Wellins and I published our first book together, Your First Leadership Job. In the course of writing, we spent quite a bit of time—separately and together—thinking about what leadership really means to people today. We made the case for the deep science behind leadership development. At the same time, leadership is a profoundly human endeavor: Helping yourself and others grow. This growth will pay off for everyone involved, including your business and your customers. And your leadership skills can help you keep your career on track even if your industry is in turmoil, and even if the economy is bad.

Your First Leadership Job

Leadership Changes You

At some point in your leadership journey, you may notice that a different “you” is emerging: One who is more certain about the future, one who has a deeper understanding of and connection to the people around you. You’ll find value in these leadership skills beyond the 40 or 50 (okay, 60) hours you spend at work.

I love the story that a new leader shared with me. Right after he completed his training, he returned home to find his wife in tears. She had abruptly lost her job. Instead of reacting, he listened. He asked questions. In between hugs and tissues, he used the Key Principles to help her move from distress to next steps. The best part? “She asked me, ‘What happened at that training session? You’ve come home a whole new person!’” he told me. Maybe. Or maybe it’s just that his new skills helped him be his more authentic self when the person he loved needed him.

Leadership as a Service

At DDI, we view leadership as a service to others that rises above how we even think about ourselves. We believe we have a responsibility to our family and our community to give back to others and use our leadership skills in our day-to-day lives beyond work. And, we’d like your help to make change a part of your New Year’s Resolution.

DDI instituted a program where all DDI associates can take a day off to share the science of DDI’s leadership skills in the community. We have had associates take the Key Principles into their children’s middle schools. (Think about the power of teaching bossy, know-it-all teenagers how to maintain self-esteem, use empathy, and involve others!) Others have helped less-privileged women transitioning into the workforce hone their presentation skills. Our associates were able to help the Teach for Malaysia program, an education nonprofit that trains teachers to serve in Malaysia’s poorest communities, to reduce teacher turnover by training them in world-class interviewing skills. Before the training, students were left without a teacher for up to six weeks. With the stakes that high, leadership skills are a game-changer. We feel confident that you will find ways to apply your skills to make all your causes and relationships better.

Be the SPARK

Spark!To learn more about how people have been able to apply our science to better the world—and how you can too!—head to our microsite for a free copy of the digital book Spark! There you will find true stories of how leaders like you have made a difference in some inspiring and surprising ways.

As a DDI certified facilitator, you can apply for a grant to use DDI materials for training in non-profits at no cost with our U-SPARK initiative.

Be the Change

Leadership is a craft that is perfected through the focused dedication of time, attention, and self-awareness—not unlike a chef, artist, or surgeon. When you become a leader, whatever your level or industry, it becomes your profession. We believe that you have an obligation to invest the time and effort to become the best leader you can be. Be the change in 2016!

Tacy Byham, Ph.D. is DDI's Chief Executive Officer.

Posted: 08 Jan, 2016,
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