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Developing Growth-Minded Leaders Through Leadership Self-Regulation

You may be familiar with self-regulation, sometimes called self-management, as a pillar of emotional intelligence. As Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves describe in their book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, “self-management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions to actively choose what you say and do.”

For me, this is the essence of self-regulation – identifying and practicing strategies to control or redirect your reaction in an appropriate way to realize the outcomes you seek.

In my role as Chief Human Resources Officer at BBB National Programs, I create ways for our people to develop and grow. In so doing, I have uncovered an approach to help us measure how our development programs drive our mission: building growth minded leaders through leadership self-regulation.

We know a lot about industry self-regulation at BBB National Programs, where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. We are a non-profit organization that supports innovation, and competition in the U.S. economy through the development and delivery of effective self-regulatory and dispute resolution programs.

We fulfill our mission by driving industry self-regulation through our impressive team of subject matter experts. In doing so, we work with industry leaders and in-house and law firm counsel. Among other organizations and stakeholders, we also often engage with consumer advocates, academics, non-profit leaders, legislators, and regulators.

In my 20+ years of practicing leadership development I have been privileged to both coach and develop leaders in all stages of their career journey - from new supervisors to those in the C-suite – and to design, conduct, and arrange for new manager training, leadership development programs, and outside learning opportunities.

During the delivery of these programs, I see heads nod, light bulbs shine, and eyebrows raise, letting me know that leaders are responding. What is often difficult to see is how this learning is applied and if it is really making a lasting impression with measurable results towards sustainable behavioral change.

This is where leadership self-regulation can make a difference.

As I reflect on how we advance our mission, I believe our role as leaders is to build trusting, lasting relationships that create connection. Our Executive Development Program, which launched this year, creates opportunities for our leaders to collaborate and learn from one another. We strive to awaken the courage, clarity, and reflection needed to be even more successful.

In developing this program, we defined what success looks like by introducing growth minded competencies and behaviors. A growth mindset is a continuous and conscious reset of your mind to identify how you can be better tomorrow. It requires adaptability, curiosity, and self-awareness. Incorporating leadership self-regulation strategies to build a growth mindset is central to the coaching and development process used during the program.

To get started, it is important to understand the foundational elements for generating behavioral change and growth. From my learning and experience as a certified Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coach®, there are three values that leaders must embrace to realize lasting change: Courage, Humility, and Discipline.

  1. Courage: Are your goals public, and do you ask for advice and input from others? Let us take a personal view for a moment. I have a goal to be healthier. What this means for me is to work on my physical and mental wellness. So, as nervous as I am about doing so, I just made that public, creating a level of accountability. I now know that I can count on my family, friends, and colleagues to seek input and support towards reaching my goal. This takes courage, as this goal has always been difficult for me to achieve and sustain, and now, I have resolve to do so.

  2. Humility: This is the essence of vulnerability. Letting your guard down, admitting your weaknesses, and asking for help as you recognize that you do not have all the answers. In my view, this is paramount to creating trusting relationships. Opening yourself up to ask for help from others creates connection and a vested interest in each other’s success.

  3. Discipline: This is a key ingredient to the concept of leadership self-regulation - being aware of emotions and taking appropriate actions to create desired outcomes. Going back to my personal goal, I think about what I need to do, even if I do not feel like it in the moment or if my emotions get in the way. It requires you to create actionable and measurable steps towards reaching your goal and inviting those around you to be involved in your progress.

I have introduced these values organically into our Executive Development Program. Taking place over 12 months, the program creates opportunities for our leaders to become more self-aware, identify and share their own areas of opportunity, and gather as a team to discuss the unique challenges they face.

One way we have practiced leadership self-regulation is through accountability partnerships. In this partnership, leaders define what it is they want to work on and meet regularly to help each other achieve that goal. At the conclusion of our program in December, our leaders will present outcomes of their learning. By sharing the actions taken and how the program helped them achieve their goals, our team is positioned to be even more successful in the future.

Leadership self-regulation requires an all-in approach. While it may sound like a simple concept, it is not easy to do. It requires a conscious reset of your mind to identify ways for you to be even more successful. And, by demonstrating courage, humility, and discipline, you will realize the outcomes you seek.

I look forward to evolving leadership self-regulation strategies at BBB National Programs and sharing more about what it means to be growth minded, as well as practical strategies that can lead to success. Until then, I urge you to ask yourself:

  • How do you see courage, humility, and discipline? Do you see these values at the center of driving long-lasting behavioral change?

  • What self-regulation strategies will you use today to help you be more successful tomorrow?

I also challenge you to discover ways to demonstrate courage, humility, and discipline, and am happy to connect with you about how we are building growth minded leaders at BBB National Programs and the benefits of the Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching® process.

Your thoughts and insights are welcome.

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