So, you are a leader in a matrix organization. Perhaps you are the Line Manager to whom a Team Member reports directly, although you rarely see each other.
One of the challenges senior leaders face is that for the first time in their career they may find themselves on multiple teams. For example, they lead their own team of managers who run the function of an organization such as Sales or Engineering. And, they may also belong to a leadership team comprised of fellow hard-charging peers from other functions of the organization that report up to a General Manager or CEO.
As leaders rise to higher levels within an organization, they are required to navigate increasingly complex and chaotic situations. There are hand-offs and trade-offs with stakeholders and constituents. There are executive leaders to please and junior leaders to lead. Fellow peers with competing agendas from other functions such as Sales, Engineering, and Finance, vie for the same set of limited resources. And, decisions become more and more consequential to the organization.
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I just kicked-off an 8-month leadership development program with a client in Denver, and one of our topics was about the "shifts" people need to make when they step into leadership roles. Reflect on the items below:
I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review, Leadership is a Conversation, by Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind. As of June 2012 Boris and Michael had spoken to over 150 people in 100 companies where research participants consistently mentioned their efforts of "having a conversation" or "advancing the conversation" in their organizations.
I agree that Leadership, in part, really is a conversation. And I have also found that leaders who struggle most fail to engage people through conversation. Often times they:
I recently read an article in PR Newswire titled Study Shows the Current State of Women in Leadership. The article cited a study by The Women's College of the University of Denver and The White House Project that presented some interesting findings comparing women to their male counterparts:
Here's my challenge to all leaders in 2013:
WHO will you be?
It's a great time of the year for all of us to reflect on where we've been and where we want to go. The trap that most leaders fall into is that they often reflect on the WHAT and the HOW without considering WHO they are as leaders. For example, they ask - WHAT do I want to accomplish this year? WHAT are my goals? And, HOW will I achieve those goals?
I received the following email from a participant in a recent leadership development program.