I hope that everyone has been able to take some time around the holidays to reset and refuel as we head into the new year. To close the year out, I just had a few more thoughts on management and leading people:
- Being a manager takes a set of skills that are clearly identifiable and trainable; leadership skills, while straightforward, are not as natural or “simple”
- That said, while leaders need to create the vision, they must also get results
- Leadership is a combination of caring, comfort with ambiguity, persistence, communication, negotiation skills, political astuteness, humor, level-headedness, engaging, challenging, self-awareness & future focus
- Observation of how a leader acts will tell you as much if not more about that leader than who they say they are or what they believe – again, coming back to leading by example
- Organizational tension is a part of every business, so how do we manage?
- Competitive urge: redirect the urge to compete into productive channels
- Group decision making vs. decisiveness: a leader needs to seek counsel when making most decisions but also needs to balance that with when a decision just needs to be made
- This won’t be an issue as long as it is rare and the team’s input is consistently sought otherwise
- If a vision is something that resonates with our followers and creates a deep yearning in them, what does that mean for you organization?
- Is it “people using our service” as a default for most companies today?
- Do industry pundits need to acknowledge your for it to be the best? Or is it the best because it fits your culture and your overarching values and mission?
- What is it between the different personality types that will inspire?
- When does a company outgrow its own vision statement? How often must it change?
- At one point Microsoft’s was much simpler: a pc on every desk in every house around the world. It became to help people and businesses around the world to achieve their full potential. Is the simpler version better?
- How do you create a vision statement that is actionable at every level of an organization?
- Does a vision statement need to be more concrete, less inspirational, to be truly effective?
- In the end, to be a leader you must not only create a vision, but have it be a powerful one that you can articulate clearly. You have to:
- Create awareness of the need to change to achieve the vision
- Drive desire in those impacted by the change
- Give them the knowledge to implement the change
- Make sure they have the ability to implement the change on a day to day basis
- Reinforce the change again and again
The Role of a Manager and Leader
- The minimum is to lead by example and from the front – but be real/human.
- Be contagious with your attitude
- To define success, you have to have a clear connection to where you’ve been, where you are, and where you need to go
- Share the development of plans amongst the team so that you end up with a vision that is shared by all
- How can you possibly expect people to excel and take on training/growth if you don’t enable it?
- Part of an action-oriented, empowering culture is one that is fun
- While there is a need to manage from the top and empower the bottom, be wary/pay attention to the sides
- Part of your reality is that you are the impetus behind and the champion for organizational change
- Focus on the customer and the rest will follow … and all of your employees are customers
- Never settle for less than that which is possible, even if it seems improbable
- The unspoken part of empowering your people to grow and learn and leading by example is that you push yourself out of your comfort zone constantly through your own growth/learning
- Know what you want, how to measure it, and have the courage to make change when change is needed
Last, Forbes has a great article this week that captures some of the best technology stories of 2015 – a few I’ve already talked about, other are new, all are worth a look.
Happy New Year!