Is Your Leadership Capacity Ready for Higher Position?
It is not in doubt that leadership capacity is the singular phenomenon that makes a person great. Leadership capacity is the combination of three factors: Skills, Character and Style. And the variations in the good combination of these factors are the distinguishing reason for why one leader will be better than the other.
Leadership is like selling! You must have “what” you want to sell (skills), “whom” you need to sell to (relationship/character) and “how” you sell to them so they believe you enough to buy (style).Thus, just like a sales process cannot be complete if any of what, whom and how is missing, so also leadership capacity cannot be complete if any of Skills, Character and Style is missing, falls short or wanting.
My3D Program (thinkmy3d.net), provides you the opportunity to assess your current leadership skills, character and style (Discover), identify any gaps & fill them (Develop) and Deploy your new capacity to become a more effective leader.
Leadership Skills are those combination of competencies you should possess to enable you quickly see opportunities, harness them maximally and repeat the process successfully, over and over again, better than your peers. Leadership skills include: Strategic Thinking, Strategic Planning & Effective Execution, Strategic communication, Effective Hiring, Focus on Result, and Leading Change.
While as everyone “thinks”, everyone “plans” and everyone “communicates”, leaders do theirs in a “strategic” manner – looking at the long-term or overall aims and interests, the means of achieving them and communicating the achievement in a way that aligns with each identified stakeholder. Successful leaders tend to show high levels of strategic skills when thinking, planning or communicating.
Also critical to your leadership persona is your leadership character. Those relational qualities that help bring people around you and get them glued to you as followers. Leadership character includes Self Mastery (Attitude, Integrity, Humility, Emotional Intelligence, Balance, and taking Responsibilities), Leadership Image (concept that others form about you as a result of the impressions you make on them; usually crystalized from your appearance, how you communicate–verbal and non verbal-, your carriage, confidence and behaviours), Developing a Following (Inspiring, Persuasion and Influence), Judgment & Decision-Making, Coaching & Mentoring, and Building & Empowering Teams. Leadership character helps a leader expand his or her sphere of influence, impact and an unequivocal acceptance for higher position.
The third component of leadership capacity is your leadership style. Depending on the quality requirement, subordinate commitment, urgency requirement, available information, and problem structure, a leader may employ a number of styles in leadership including: Autocratic (do as I say or come with me), Consultative (get opinions of other), Affiliative (everyone should contribute), Democratic (everyone’s voice or vote counts), Assertive, Aggressive, Passive-Aggressive, Pacesetting (consistently modeling high standard for others to follow), and Coaching.
The most important thing about leadership style is knowing when to use what style. Thus, a Fire chief at the scene of a major building fire is expected to be Coercive and authoritative as urgency is required; a Project Manager implementing an Accounting Standard will use Coaching as there is quality requirement; an HR manager designing a program to reduce employees’ stress levels will be affiliative since the problem structure requires ideas from as many employees as possible.
Second thing about leadership style, however, is knowing what style should not be used, as they are capable of hurting instead of enhancing. Every leader should avoid Aggressive and Passive Aggressive as they both have potential to destroy trust and destroy the Leader’s effort towards building a sphere of influence. Pacesetting should be used with caution as it could be acceptable by high-achiever subordinates who are highly committed but it will demoralize and even cause fragile subordinates to quit their jobs when they feel over pressured. Also, in as much as Coaching brings support to employees who need help to improve, it is demoralizing for high-flyer employees who prefer to innovatively and creatively champion their improvement initiatives and efforts. Even in required situation, leaders should be mindful of the potential for Coaching to undermine a person’s self-confidence if they feel over micro-managed or under empowered.
In all, I will hope that your desire for higher position is to make a greater leadership impact. The result of good leadership is impact. As Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) puts it, “leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” Forbes reported that Sandberg led the social media company from a $56 million loss to $22.1 billion in profits in 2018. You measure a leader by the significance of the impact he or she has made.
One common thing I find is that leaders who make impact are deliberate about it (they set out from the beginning to do so and then build themselves along the way, holding themselves accountable to achieve it). Tim Cook (Apple CEO) said “from the onset, I wanted to pour every ounce that I had in myself into the company.” Committing to achieving this, Cook has helped navigate Apple through the transition after Jobs’ death as well as developing new product lines and opening Apple retail stores. He has also successfully led public battle against Apple – he is determined to make the impact he committed to make.
In conclusion, as a leader, while demanding or developing task behaviours (strategy, goals, activities, projects, planning, monitoring etc.) – Skills, also develop relationship/character behaviours and learn to choose your style based on factors such as quality requirement, subordinate commitment, available information, urgency requirement, and problem structure. Avoid styles that are capable of destroying rather than building trust including aggressiveness, passive aggression or excessive coaching. Finally, think of what impact you want to make before you get to the position and hold yourself accountable to achieving the impact when you get there.
To get your leadership capacity ready for higher position, you need to continuously improve your leadership skills, character and style. This continuous improvement is what My3D Innovation provides to you. JOIN My3D Program!
by Tilda MMEGWA
An internationally top-rated Leadership and Executive Coach.
– Tilda is a selected speaker at international conferences, she was rated highest, #1, in Strategic Thinking (2006) by the Society of Management Accountants of Canada and she is an award winner (1983 and 2018) for her academic excellence.
– This is what a CEO had to say: “As an Entrepreneur, I needed 3 things: a clear vision of the possible; advice on how to position my business strategically; and, practical tips on steps I can take to clear certain hurdles. My sessions with Tilda have been extremely helpful in all 3 areas. Her inspirational approach made me feel that I CAN triumph over obstacles and gave me courage to persevere.”
…..CEO & Founder, Rock Diversity Inc., Ontario, Canada