By Elliot Begoun – Principle Consultant – The Intertwine Group
All organizations need managers. Someone must plan and organize activity, allocate resources and direct personnel. But directing is not leading. Leadership requires a very specific skillset and must be cultivated and earned.
The question every CEO should ask of their organization is; do our managers know how to lead? The answer many times is no. Why is this so often the case? It starts with how an organization chooses its managers. Regularly high performing “doers” or those with specific technological prowess or valued know-how get promoted into management roles. These are individuals who stood above the masses based on their abilities to generate results. They are not selected because they have demonstrated leadership skills and in many cases they have never been in any form of a leadership role. They are thrust into a situation where they must now drive results through others and often that does not translate well.
So what should a CEO do to overcome this challenge, to create a management team that can lead? Start with your current managers. Work to develop their leadership skills. Provide them with coaching and the needed leadership tool-kit. Cultivate Integrative Leadership traits. Work to ensure you managers have clarity around the organization’s purpose, vision, values and desired outcomes. Couple that clarity with the understanding that leadership is more than just strategy and results. It is not just about budgets and numbers. At its root, it is about people and understanding what fuels them! It will be an investment with a very strong ROI.
Concurrently, an organization should be developing future leaders. Creating mentorship opportunities for those individuals who are not only high performing doers, or who have specific technological know-how, but also have the aptitude to connect with people. Nurturing the skills that foster Integrative Leadership thus preparing them to grow into highly functional future leaders.
The final and most difficult step a CEO must take is to identify those who aren’t leaders, yet are currently expected to lead. At times, even with the best training, the sincerest of effort, a current manager proves incapable of being a leader. An organization cannot afford to have non-leaders in leadership roles. Those non-leaders become a drain to both company finances and morale. This does not mean they are necessarily bad employees, just not leaders. In some situations, there may be a path that allows that individual to remain on staff in a non-leadership role, but often it requires the very difficult decision to afford that individual the opportunity to leave the organization. To allow someone to continue to operate in a leadership role, without the tools or skills to lead, will do great harm to the organization, the team and to the individual failing to lead.
Invest in leadership and more specifically Integrative Leadership. Cultivate an organizational culture that combines clarity, focus and vision with presence, mindfulness and authenticity.
Thanks for reading.