Operating in a business world characterised by complexity, where leaders are expected to be innovative, communicate effectively, create value, foster teamwork, manage talents, apply appropriate and good judgement, take effective and timeous decisions to promote the long term viability of the oganisation while ensuring employees remain motivated in the face of (often) signifcant change, can either be positively challenging or totally overwhelming.
It is evident that effective leadership requires you to have much more than technical or specialist knowledge. In fact, as leader, these skills are not the ones that are valued or needed. Intangible aspects are more important than specialist skills, if you intend to be a successful leader.
Compliance or target driven management, control processes and crisis management are practiced in organisation with an environment that is characterised by fear, blame and thus, avoidance of responsibility. Innovation and expression are smothered when people are held accountable for outcomes without allowing them to participate in setting the targets or giving them decision making capability for their accountabilities. Teams and employees are set up to fail under these type of power driven management approaches. Superficial communication and agreement often hides the deeper symptoms of fear driven management practices, where people are too afraid to challenge the status quo.
This type of environment is characteristic of managers and management teams where loss of control is the main enemy. However, the more managers try to hold on to power, the more ineffective they become.
A reactive approach makes no successful leaders!
Successful leaders show insight into their own mental models, thought processes, motivations and emotions. They are regarded as both emotionally and socially intelligent.
New to the leadership role, the question very often arises: how do I remain true to myself, retain my own personality, values and preferences in the face of the almost "impossible shopping list" of characteristics that are held forth as essential to be a successful leader?
Making yourself over into the person that you desire to be in the role of leader does not mean that you have to give up intrinsic values or personality style. It does however require you to develop competencies that can be learned.
Whether new in your role, or wanting to grow as leader, leadership coaching allows you the opportunity to reflect on your own thought and behaviour patterns; to understand your own strengths and how to capitalise those to develop the behaviours required in this role.
Questions such as these can be addressed through a reflective coaching approach, allowing you to find the answers that exist within yourself, but which you may find difficult to discover on your own:
- How do I motivate others to perform at their peak, whether under stable conditions or during periods of dramatic change?
- How do I create an environment of openness, learning and trust where employees become willing to share ideas and to solve problems more creatively?
- How do I advance my own career aspirations while also allowing others to grow and advance their own careers?
- How can I communicate more effectively, ensuring that there is no misunderstanding and that I express myself clearly and effectively?
- How do I manage the different personalities in my team and allow different ways of thinking and true dialogue to emerge?
- How do I manage conflict effectively?
- How can I be more interpersonally aware while still maintaining a performance focus and ensuring high standards are maintained?
- How can I facilitate a "can do" attitude and curiosity in others?
- How do I myself grow in confidence when faced with such a varied and complex demand on my skills and capabilities?