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.
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 received the following email from a participant in a recent leadership development program.
I am very excited to announce that my book Ignite! The 4 Essential Rules for Emerging Leaders will be officially launched and widely available on May 31st!
In the first part of this article, published in our March newsletter, we talked about 4 challenges mid-level managers face. They are often viewed as "caught in the middle" between the senior leaders above them who impose strategy that they are required to implement, and the team members who work for them that look up for direction and support. The four common and costly challenges I outlined were:
They are sometimes viewed as "caught in the middle."
And for good reason. Senior leaders above them impose strategy that they are required to implement, and the team members who work for them look up for direction and support.
Meet the middle manager.
Now, most middle managers I know are enthusiastic, smart, and able, but there are several challenges that they face that usually go unseen.
Challenge 1: They are expected to rollout strategy without clarity of a clear vision and goals from senior leadership.
“Are leaders born?”
This is an interesting question that I am often asked in the leadership development programs we run at 5.12 Solutions.
We believe that leadership isn’t about being charismatic and it’s not about some magical qualities that are bestowed upon you at birth. And you don’t have to go through special forces training as a rite of passage. Leadership is about employing key skills and behaviors on a consistent basis.
And those skills and behaviors can be learned.
As you build your capacities as a leader it is critically important to enhance your level of self-awareness. Self-awareness is often equated to emotional intelligence. It can also be seen as deepening your understanding of how your behaviors impact others and how you are impacted by other people.
Why would you want to deepen your level of awareness? After all, your "I am what I am" attitude has worked well for you.
Deepening your self awareness will enable you to: