Leadership Growth Strategies
Without leadership strength in place at all levels and in all departments, organizations find it difficult to achieve significant improvements in organization-wide performance.
However, "leadership" is often fuzzily defined, if at all. One view is that leadership is more about vision, direction setting, motivating and inspiring while management is more about controlling and monitoring. So, what are the specific abilities a leader should exhibit whether at the top, the middle or the supervisory level.
Identify specific leadership roles, tasks and skills that are needed to support a key initiative.
A leadership development process must be put in place to ensure the identified roles and tasks are fulfilled competently and confidently throughout the organization.
To help managers transition from good managers to fully functioning leaders, the process needs to address the critical areas of:
This can be done by providing certain process components:
People learn what they want to learn. The trick is to create a sense of urgency for the learning. One way to do that is to use feedback surveys that allow managers to compare how their behaviors are perceived by themselves, their boss, peers and direct reports.
If accountability for change has been built into the process, the issues raised by the feedback will create a motivation for change.
Managers can benefit from guidance that uses the feedback data and helps them implement needed changes in their own behavior.
Coaches can help managers analyze difficult organization situations, explore alternative approaches, identify risks and barriers and help them move successfully through their change strategies.
Consolidating survey results for all managers can provide an organization-wide view of what capability gaps exists that are common to many managers.
Consequently, targeted training sessions can be provided focused on these common development needs. Managers will more readily attend this training because it addresses a documented real need they buy into.
To help managers grow and develop broader perspectives, careful thought needs to be given to job assignments to further hone leadership abilities. These could include work in new functional areas, cross-functional projects and organization turn-around or start-up challenges.
Today's challenges for increased competitiveness, productivity, quality and work place health all cry out for leadership. Organization-wide leadership is one of the real competitive differentiators for sustained success.