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Leading from Within: Unleashing Your Leadership Potential in The Workplace

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Leadership is a transformative journey that goes beyond career milestones, blending soft skills with hard-earned expertise. It involves inspiring through empathy, active listening, and critical thinking. Embracing seven strategic pillars propels one from mere management to true leadership. True leadership is anchored in strengths beyond professional expertise, encompassing interpersonal skills that nurture team connections, informed decision-making, and vision-driven leadership. Essential skills like effective communication, unwavering confidence, and assertive self-presentation are not just desirable but indispensable. Merely working hard and delivering excellent outcomes is insufficient in today's competitive workplace to showcase leadership potential. This challenge disproportionately affects individuals subject to cultural stereotypes, such as women, people of color, and those with quieter, introverted personalities.

Below are several approaches you can adopt to advance in your professional journey and fully unlock your leadership capabilities:

1. Recognize Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Self-awareness serves as the foundation for personal growth. Take time for introspection or seek feedback to pinpoint your strengths and areas that require enhancement. Analyzing both your achievements and areas for development aids in comprehending your capabilities and their alignment with your role as a leader.

2. Define Your Leadership Style

Leadership is diverse and doesn't adhere to a universal model. Identify whether you lean towards a democratic approach, valuing consensus; a transformative approach, inspiring change; or an autocratic approach, making decisive decisions. Once you recognize your style, leverage your strengths and deliberately focus on improving areas where you may be less proficient.

3. Craft Realistic Development Goals

A vision lacking practical steps is just a dream. Establish precise, achievable goals for your leadership growth. Break them down into smaller, manageable tasks to avoid feeling overwhelmed and monitor your progress over time.

4. Seek Insights from Experienced Leaders

No leader stands alone. Connect with mentors, participate in leadership forums, or enroll in executive courses. Gaining insights from individuals who have navigated the leadership terrain can equip you with valuable tools and help you avoid common pitfalls.

5. Lead Beyond the Workplace

Leadership skills are refined both in the workplace and in various aspects of life. Engage in community service, join a local board, or coach a sports team. Diverse experiences will enhance your leadership abilities and offer a more comprehensive perspective.

6. Initiate Leadership Roles at Work

Don't wait for leadership opportunities to come your way; take the initiative to create them. Form a task force to tackle a specific company challenge, mentor new employees, or propose innovative projects. These endeavors demonstrate your dedication to the company and your preparedness to take on leadership roles.

7. Embrace the Journey with Patience

Becoming a leader is like running a marathon; it demands patience and persistence. Embrace each step of the journey, recognizing that each challenge is a chance to learn and grow. As time progresses, these experiences will collectively shape you into a more effective and seasoned leader.

In TechConnect, we divide the ecosystem into: Inclusive Development Program and Exclusive Leadership Development Program with technology, environment, people-focus, and integrated with Reward & CB Management, Promotion & Career Ladder policies, rotational assignment, performance feedback and Quality Circle Development Planning. This ecosystem is built on Sinar Mas culture (6 values) and 3 leader characters (winning attitude, adversity quotient, and rigorous). 

Inclusive Development Program targeted for all employees to ensure all of them have relevant and updated knowledge especially related to Leadership competencies. This program ranges from Junior Level (JNDP), Senior Level (SMDP), Middle Level (MMDP), Managerial Level (EMDP), and C Level (C-DP). 

The Exclusive Leadership Development Program is tailored for talent pool employees identified through ongoing performance reviews, focusing on leadership competencies and certification programs. Deployed across all business units, it spans various career levels, from fresh graduates (STEM-DP) to Senior Managers (LDP and SLDP). Specialized programs, such as HR Strategic Business Partner and GMO Development Program, are also designed. To ensure effectiveness, we collaborate with esteemed partners like Singapore Management University, McKinsey, UPH, Prasetya Mulya, Center for Creative Leadership, University at Buffalo, and Erasmus University.

Giving the exposure into global mindset and cross-region experience, we also develop Global Talent Mobility (GTM) as part of our Exclusive Development Program. This programs offer opportunity to learn different business sector, roles, and country (Indonesia, Australia, Africa, Singapore, and others).

Start from 2019, we initiate new programs (innovation) to support the vision, which are:

  • Leadership Lounge: to give the opportunity to be connected with C-Level and to be inspired by them.

  • Tech Connect Academy: As an education-based community to support our Digital Factory (S Quantum Engine) from people aspect, so it can enable Sinar Mas go to Digital Transformer. We successfully held the first national Hackathon program with more than 300 participants from various background and region to develop one of our platform, build IT community and offer them the opportunity to work with the company

Since organization concerns about build leaders from within, Management always commit to provide structured budget and unlimited budget based on Leadership Development roadmap and plan, organization needs and future needs. Based on year to year, there are more than 3.5% of employee’s total cost that company have spent for Development Programs. As return, each graduate of Development Program did project that have a significant impact and revenue. 10% of new business in our group is as the result of the project they worked on and each business have contributed in particular number of revenue.

Source: Forbes

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