9 Crucial Shifts to Leadership Excellence


By Grant Herbert, Trainer, Essential Leadership Skills for Young Legal Professionals


Today’s world needs you to have today's leadership skills!

Knowing what you need to work on as a young leader in professional services can sometimes be confusing. If that's the case for you, stick with me because in this article, we will look at the specific leadership skills and competencies you need to focus on so that you can be the best leader of yourself and others.

So, let’s start the conversation by setting a benchmark understanding of what leadership is.

Leadership is not just about a set of skills you need to tell people what to do. Leadership starts from within, and everyone is a leader.

There are three facets of leadership that each of us need to develop: Personal, Professional, and People Leadership.

To do that effectively, there are 9 crucial areas that you need to focus on, even more so in today's fast-paced, ever-changing marketplace, to become a leader that leads yourself well, gets more done, and can lead people on the journey with you.

The nine crucial shifts are made up of three in each area of leadership. What I want to do today is just unpack them, so you are introduced to what they are. Then, we’ll go deeper into them in our online and face to face training over the next couple of weeks.

Before we jump in though, you need to commit to the belief that these shifts are crucial, and not just nice to have.

These shifts, from what I've found in my own leadership experience and from working with thousands of emerging and established leaders all around the world, are the ones that are going to give you the most bang for your buck.

They're the ones that are going to help you to overcome the problems that you are facing through this super VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world that we're in right now.

So, to start the ball rolling, here are the main shifts in your Personal Leadership. This is about leading yourself.

1. Identity

Your identity is who you believe you are, rather than performance which is what you do. It's the limiting or false beliefs you have formed about yourself and your level of self-worth. Identity determines whether you take care of yourself and is the foundation for all things leadership.

The shift you go through here is to go from being conflicted about who you are, to acting congruently and staying true to your values and who you are, getting a true picture of who you are, and not looking for external validation to say who you are.

2. Intelligence

This intelligence shift is being able to recognise that your technical skills and cognitive intelligence can only get you so far. This area is about going from that singular intelligence to multiple intelligence; and developing your emotional intelligence, social intelligence, and creative intelligence.

It is being able to recognise that there's more to you than what you do, and really tapping in and getting awareness around the internal — the area that sometimes is a little bit uncomfortable to talk about.

In our session next week, I'm going to take you through and help you do that in a reflective and empowering way, that's going to remove forever some of those challenges you've brought with you from the past.

3. Intention

This is a shift from being scattered and working with a day-by-day, seat-of-the-pants mentality, to being planned and purposeful.


Then you move into the Professional Leadership area. These skills are about getting your stuff done, whatever it is that you do in your career. These are the areas we are going to go deeper in at our face-to-face workshop.

4. Performance

You need to go from a high-performance methodology to produce what you want in your career, to making sure that you do it in a way that doesn't take away your health, your energy, or overshadow every other area of your life.

So, you must shift from focusing on high-performance alone to doing things differently, so they are sustainable over the long term.

This is a big area, and I've got a lot that I can share from my journey to help you with that.

5. Positioning

As a professional in your career, you need to position yourself in a certain way to attract the right people to work with and around you.

This shift is about going from being invisible, and feeling like you're just like everybody else, to being in demand. This enables you to connect with the right people and have many opportunities open for you.

6. Productivity

This shift is going away from time as your master to orchestrating outcomes. It's all about doing things differently so that you get more done with less.


Then you are ready to move into the People Leadership arena. This is where you take others on the journey with you.

7. Resilience

This is going from being stressed all the time to being strong enough to navigate adversity. It starts with a mindset shift around what you think resilience is.

8. Relationships

We already dealt with your relationship with yourself in the personal shifts. This shift is all about getting right with your relationship with others, so that you can go from conflict to collaboration, where you have people who want to work with and around you, whether they’re your colleagues, the people that you are responsible for, your suppliers, or friends.

This shift is important because this shift has the biggest impact on our ability to lead.

9. Results

In our professional leadership area, we looked at how you get results through your own efforts. However, one of the biggest challenges of people leadership is getting others to produce results alongside you.

This area is where I find a big problem for leaders. It can be quite challenging to delegate to others, to trust people enough to do what you used to do and have a balance between your productivity and output and being able to get through to others as well.

And that's the shift going from do to through.

So, there are the nine crucial shifts that every leader of today needs to go through in their Personal, Professional, and People leadership.

I know from the work that I've done in my own life and from working with many others just like you that these are key competency areas. These are not nice to have. These are areas of focus for right now.

Starting next week, we will go deeper into each shift, showing you why it is important and what to do to make each shift.

For those of you attending the SAL leadership training for young legal professionals, I look forward to working with you and I'll see you next week. If you haven’t yet registered, now is the time to ensure you get your seat.