Invest your time now to become a better, stronger and more versatile future leader

Watch the 5min video below to hear Malcolm and Steph discuss some very important aspects of time investment and future success in leading yourself and teams.

Having a good understanding of leadership styles and personalities is essential


The styles of leadership one might adopt are beyond the scope of this article. However, if one is not trained in different styles of leadership, he or she will simply behave as they do at home or at work.

The expectation at a relatively junior level is that people are much the same, and I once had to lead a team that included some introverts.

As an extrovert, I am quite a character. It took me a while for me to realize that motivating these two people in my team was quite different from motivating the rest of the team, and that my gregarious personality, my extrovert personality, and the way I managed the extroverts in the team were actually upsetting to the introverts.

The process of learning leadership tools and spending time acquiring this knowledge is challenging


Investing time in learning can give you the tools to understand how to deal with relatively simple things, like the difference between an extroverted person and their motivation for them, and an introverted person and how to motivate them.

It is not unusual to feel like your back is against the wall and you’re fighting fires due to the amount of time required.

As a leader and manager, if you lack the tools and techniques to help you, you will continue to fight fires because you lack the tools and techniques to help you and it’s worth the investment.

There will be no easy road. It’s going to be tough. You may find this to be one of the toughest courses you’ve ever taken, partly because it involves self-reflection.

How well do you know yourself?

Malcolm Johnston:

If you can’t understand yourself, you can’t understand your team.

So a lot of the training you are going to get on this is about better understanding of yourself and the way that your behaviours affect other people.

Firefighting happens if you are not sure of what to do. The other thing that tends to happen is you have a fear of failure because you know that you don’t know. And fear of failure is not a good motivator for you.

So you will probably end up burning out faster because you haven’t got the tools to help you. Whereas if you did a course like this, you are going to be better equipped, better resourced in order to deal with the issues that are coming towards you.

You’ll end up, I think, with a much more fulfilling career than if you carry on as you are, frankly, muddling through.

Time is going to slip past you anyway so make it work for you

Stephanie Leigh-Rose:

Time will pass regardless of what we do.

Do you agree? An investment of six months or a year or two will pass.

My thought is always to fill it with something that you’re doing that’s valuable to you, that grows and builds your career.

That’s just one thing. In addition, I wish I had this course when I was starting out and starting my business.

Due to my background in teaching, I applied those tools, but a lot of it was just trying to figure out how to learn, and how to lead different personalities.

When working with international companies, I had to navigate the fact that my Japanese clients were incredibly different from my French clients, for example.

Although I was able to do it, I don’t think it helped me as a manager or leader.

I could have invested the time, had the tools if I had taken this course.

There were many occasions when I was saying “Okay, I’m having this difficulty.

What are some approaches I can take, either to reframe it or create this diagram to go over different aspects of myself as a leader, different personalities on my team, or aspects of our company culture?

Investing in yourself is an invaluable investment. The time is now to take action.
Due to the finite nature of time and energy, you don’t want to spend all that time and energy.

Don’t spend all that time trying to keep up when you can just say, “Look, I’m taking the course.” Then apply it and become more confident.

In your leadership journey, even a small amount of knowledge can be powerful

Malcolm Johnston:

An analogy I just thought of when Steph mentioned in international is, that I think we all know either objectively or subliminally that learning a foreign language isn’t just about learning to communicate, it gives us a window into the culture of that business.

So you are getting the language in order to be able to operate in that country. And one of the things this course does, it gives you the language in order to be able to understand how to lead better.

Without that language, you are going to be… It will be akin to you going to Japan without being able to speak a word of Japanese, and you will feel as though you are floundering.

Whereas, I know and we both know because we’ve got experience in Japan, if you bother to learn maybe a dozen phrases of a fairly difficult language, even those dozen phrases will open up a whole different world to you.