Leadership and your natural abilities

women in leadership
Images via iStock, The Associated Press

Women today are pushing the boundaries of gender equity and making notable progress in assuming leadership roles. With leaders like Sheryl Sandberg as COO of Facebook, Virginia Rometty as CEO of IBM, and Indra Nooyi a recent CEO of PepsiCo, the proverbial sky is the limit for strong women leaders. These powerful women embody the traits generally recognized for successful leadership. They are confident, assertive, goal oriented, effective stress managers, persuasive, possess high EQ, and are risk takers.

Ever wonder how your leadership potential could best be developed? With the astounding array of leadership materials on the market, it’s often difficult to decide the best approach to use for the most effective results. Is it a book, a workshop, coaching sessions, leadership style surveys, a mentor, or just what to help you advance in your career and move into leadership roles?

I strongly believe that understanding your natural abilities provides a strong foundation for developing your leadership skills. Knowing your natural abilities—your innate abilities and aptitudes—can help you …

—Evaluate which roles are easiest for you and which ones challenge you the most

—Understand what kinds of leadership roles fit you best

—Know which skills should be developed to enhance abilities in certain areas

—Assess the fit between your abilities and the roles you play now and can grow into in the future.

While there are many tools to aid in understanding your leadership traits, The Highlands Leadership Report 2.0 is one of the most accurate in helping you understand your natural abilities and how they relate to leadership. Most leadership style assessments are the “self report” variety—you answer questions according to how you regard yourself in relation to the question. The Highlands Ability Battery is a “performance-based” assessment of your hardwired abilities and aptitudes. Results cannot be skewed because they are based on how you performed on 18 out of the 19 scales that comprise the battery.

I use the Highlands Ability Battery extensively in my work with students and adults who need help in making good career choices and I’ve come to realize that its application for leadership development is unparalleled as an effective way to understand and grow one’s potential.

So much goes into leadership development, but understanding your abilities provides both the foundation and the framework for integration of your interests, skills, values, and personal style so that you can truly excel in meeting your goals.

Break through the barriers that traditionally limit women in leadership by developing your unique leadership identity. Shatter your limitations with the knowledge about yourself needed to develop the skills for your leadership trajectory. Knowing how your abilities impact your leadership and influence in your organization is the secret to your success.

Mary Feduccia, Ph.D., LPC is a career counselor and professional development coach. Reach her at mary@careerworks360.com.

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