Are you effective as a leader and how do you know?
Are you effective as a leader and how do you know? It’s important when answering this question to know what your reference is. For example, is it measured based on feedback against your peers through a 360 survey or, in relation to a global survey of managers and their effectiveness. One measure is the SAL Report “Do Australian Leaders Have what it takes” which shows that managers have not mastered management fundamentals! Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know and it’s important to be open to possibilities and seek opportunities to review and improve your leadership skills.
“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision” —John Maxwell
Australian leaders have not Management
The SAL Report “Do Australian Leaders Have what it takes” shows that Australian organisations should be concerned about the state of leadership and management capability. Effective leadership requires the mastery of management fundamentals, including performance monitoring, target setting, and use of incentives. As defined in Chapter 6, “Australian leaders, on the whole, have not mastered the fundamentals of management, though there is some variation in management practices by industry, workplace size, organisational legal status, and workplace age.”
Leading through Exponential Change
As shown by Aneel Chima and Ron Gutman in HBR “What It Takes to Lead through an Era of Exponential Change,” the pace of change has picked up. More than that, whereas we used to experience disruptions followed by periods of stability, change now is increasingly perpetual, pervasive, and exponential. To keep pace, leaders need to take a different approach than the “leader as hero” model — the solo, individualistic leader who inspires certainty in a deterministic way forward. The authors suggest a new approach, which they call Sapient Leadership, inspired by conversations held at Stanford in the spring of 2020 with Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart; Toby Cosgrove, former CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, heart surgeon, and White House advisor; Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO of The B Team, and runner-up in Iceland’s 2016 presidential elections; and Bret Taylor, President and COO of Salesforce.
These leaders articulate a humble, nimble, and value-driven vision for leadership. Leader humility, authenticity, and openness instils trust and psychological safety. In turn, trust and psychological safety empower individuals and teams to perform at their highest capabilities. Additionally, continuously learning teams are essential for keeping pace with and effectively navigating 3-D change. Finally, shared purpose and common values enhance focus, cohesion, and resilience in the midst of 3-D change.
Effective leadership lessons from the military
In a Forbes article by Sanyin Siang, “8 Leadership Lessons from the Military,” the term VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) originated with students at the U.S. Army War College to illustrate the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of our world after the Cold War. With unmatched grit, fierce acumen, and adaptable communication capabilities, our veterans, and those currently on active duty, are VUCA-specialists. In navigating constant churn, high stakes situations, and scaling organizations, our troops are more than just strong men and women– they are effective leaders with leadership lessons we can apply into our own lives:
- Embrace change by asking questions with an open mind – 23rd Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James
- Leaders lead with empathy – Lieutenant General Nadja West
- Leaders are connectors – 42nd Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker
- Don’t take purpose for granted – General Robert B. Brown
- Inclusiveness is key to solving complex problems, General (Ret.) Martin Dempsey
- Leadership is focusing not just on results, but how you get those results, Rear Admiral (Ret.) Peg Klein
- A strong culture requires servant’s heart, good bedside manner, and the Socratic method, Rear Admiral (Ret.) Jon Yuen
- Building a team requires trust and communication, Admiral Bill Moran
The Too Busy Label, or, a chance to be more Effective?
I wrote a blog a while back about being over hearing people talk about being ‘too busy’ – and how I was guilty of it myself for a long time – and, here is one of my blogs on the topic of ‘being busy!”.. The fact of the matter is that you need to make time for your goals and that nobody is really as busy as they claim they are. We all have time we can utilise if we are serious about making changes. Leadership development is the same; you can’t be a great leader if you don’t continually develop your leadership skills. No leader is perfect; there is no level you reach as a leader where complacency about your growth becomes acceptable. The great leaders among us are those that recognise that there is always room for improvement within themselves, and that is worth making time for. When you think you’re too busy to work on your leadership, here’s how you can make the time and further develop yourself as a leader:
- Build Your Confidence
- Look For Lessons You Can Relate To Leadership In What You Read Or Watch
- Set Aside 20 Minutes Each Day For Your Development
- Reflect On Learning Opportunities From Your Daily Interactions
So, How Do You Make Time For Your Leadership Development? If you aren’t already putting enough time into your growth, don’t stress! As long as you make the commitment today and start creating these new habits, that’s what is most important. Don’t overload yourself – pick one of these tips and start doing it today, tomorrow, and the next day. Then slowly add more in so that you’re overwhelmed. I love to listen to podcasts and sit down with great books as simple ways to develop my leadership without hiding behind ‘busy’. Instead of scrolling through my phone before bed, I pick up a leadership-related book. It’s as easy as that to make time for your leadership!
YOUR chance to be more effective as a Leader NOW!
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- Initiative and Drive (Level 3)
- Communication (Level 3)
- Collaboration (Level 3)
- Empathy (Level 3)
Click here to learn more about Veriskills™, and the Human Capability Framework.
This program and coaching will take your leadership skills to the next level!
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