Understanding what a broader leadership role means
Leaders who have been incredibly successful in their area of expertise are often asked to step up into a broader leadership role. They have succeeded through their knowledge and expertise, by getting the job done.
And then they find themselves in a leadership position where the skills and ways of working that have got them there are no longer as relevant, and can’t be relied upon for success.
In this type of leadership position, it becomes a whole different ball game than the one they are used to. Results are not as tangible, delivery is through others, the ability to think more broadly and strategically becomes critical, the role puts relationships at its centre, collaborating with others, building alliances, understanding others’ perspective is key.
This step up into this broader leadership role requires
- Empowering Others – letting go of the ‘doing’, getting comfortable delivering through others, recognising the value of the non-tangible results.
- Shaping & Steering – focusing on what adds the greatest value (their Great work), operating from ‘balcony’ not dancefloor, the value of thinking/reflecting time, bigger picture thinking, asking ‘what’s the driver’?
- Impact/Presence – moving the focus from the ‘Do’ part of the role, the actions they need to do to get the results they want and towards how others are experiencing them, how they are ‘showing up’ to others, if their Impact Intended=Impact Felt.
- Building Collaborative Relationships – the value of building relationships ahead of when they are needed, taking the time to really hear what is important to others to increase the connection. So often leaders jump into ‘selling’ their agenda to others rather than looking to co-create with them.
Supporting leaders who have recently moved into a broader leadership role is by far the most common brief we receive. It helps to have coaches and mentors who themselves have senior corporate backgrounds, many of whom worked at Exec Team level. This often involves stakeholder management, achieving rapid impact, building a personal leadership brand, developing a high performing team and polishing communication skills.
If we can be of any assistance, please get in contact.
With thanks to Jeanette Start, Aziz Executive Coach, for her contributions to this article.
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