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4 Ways to Upskill as a Managing Director

If you’re reading this, you’re likely a director looking for ways to further develop your career or an aspiring director moving up the company ladder.

As a director, you’re probably someone who flourishes under pressure, someone with a busy mind and someone who is used to a high level of responsibility. However, the world of work is changing, and those who are directors now, are continuously competing with the aspiring as well as the directors who are just starting out in their roles. This means that there are always things to learn, re-learn and unlearn.

Whether you are interested in upskilling, or the company you’re working for is passionate about development, keep reading for 4 ways to upskill as a director.

Man sitting at desk with phone and laptop

Find yourself a mentor

Mentoring is a vital part of both professional and personal development. Forbes says that 79% of millennials agree that mentoring is critical to career success and finding the right person to provide advice, guidance and encouragement, is invaluable.

Mentoring is often associated with junior employees, or those just starting out in their careers. However, it’s just as important, if not more, to seek out mentoring support as a senior director, as often the more senior you become, the more responsibilities you have that may require guidance and support. It’s also just as important for you to keep developing as an experienced member of staff – you can never know everything!

Being a senior leader can sometimes be lonely, and as a senior member of staff, asking for help can be a daunting experience. Your mentor is there to offer experienced, unbiased advice, meaning there’s always someone to turn to for a second opinion, or a second pair of eyes. Mentors also increase your access to director networks because they bridge a gap, meaning that you often too can meet and learn from your mentor’s support system.

Two men sitting at desk having conversation

Take time to listen, network and learn from those around you

This may seem simple and straightforward, but with a proven track record, it’s something that should be prioritised. There’s already so much information readily available for directors, as well as being cost-effective. Examples include:

  • Webinars
  • TedTalks
  • YouTube Videos
  • Podcasts

In conjunction, spending as much time as you can in an office around colleagues, team members and counterparts is also a great way to upskill, by simply learning from your working environment. If you’re a senior leader within your organisation, reaching out to your own company directors and asking them more about their role, their career journey, and simply for some advice, is also a great place to start.

Often, people enjoy talking about their roles and their experiences, and will most likely be happy to share some advice on how they reached the position they are in now and perhaps offer insight on how you can improve and advance in your own role. 

Multiple people talking over laptop in shared office space

Brush up on current and emerging trends

As a director, your team will look to you for leadership, strategic decision-making, and guidance. No director is going to know everything, and they’re not expected to. However, it’s important to at least be aware of current business trends and topics, specifically within the field you’re currently working in.

Often, trends develop into business-critical advancements, and those who don’t immerse themselves in them often get left behind.

For example, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) was a trend of 2021, and now in 2022, Euronext Corporate Services states sustainability and good governance are linked, and they are here to stay.

To this end, it’s crucial for directors to be aware of the current and emerging digital advancements to keep themselves, their employees, and thus their organisation ahead of the curve in a digital world. From artificial intelligence to cryptocurrency, these progressions are at the forefront of many corporations, having a direct impact on the way they function and develop, and having the right amount of foresight is imperative for directors and C-suite individuals.

Lady researching and reading in shared office

Obtain further qualifications

When it comes to upskilling as a director, one of the easiest ways to enhance your skillset is by obtaining professional qualifications.

While it’s likely that you already hold several of these at a senior level, continuing your professional development shouldn’t have an end date, and as such, neither should learning. There are many qualifications and certificates out there for senior leaders, however, the Diploma in Corporate Governance from The Corporate Governance Institute is one that stands out.

This particular diploma is one that was created for existing and aspiring directors and senior executives, helping them to gain valuable insight on how to speak to and work with a board, making it the perfect stepping stone to elevating your career and making a real impact at work. Not to mention, the course itself is delivered by directors and governance professionals, so you have the peace of mind that you’re learning from experienced specialists with an abundance of practical knowledge.

Are you ready to take your career to the next level? Enrol on a 100% online Corporate Governance course today.