What Develops In Leader Development?

“The goal of leadership initiatives is to improve the ability of individuals and organizations to set direction, gain commitment and create alignment. But what specifically can be developed in people that will contribute to their effectiveness as leaders?

The new edition of The Center for Creative Leadership Handbook of Leadership Development addresses this issue, describing a range of capabilities associated with self-management, leading others and leading the organization. They include:

Self-Awareness. A key aspect of understanding oneself is having awareness of what one does well and not so well; what one is comfortable with and uncomfortable with; which situations bring out one’s personal best and which are difficult to handle.
Ability to Learn. This includes recognizing when new behaviors, skills, or attitudes are called for; accepting responsibility for one’s own development; and engaging in activities that provide the opportunity to learn or test new perspectives and behaviors.
Ability to Build and Maintain Relationships. The foundation of this ability is the capacity to respect people from varying backgrounds and to understand and value the diverse perspectives that they bring.
Ability to Build Effective Work Groups. People in leadership roles need not only to develop their own relationships with others, but also to facilitate the development of positive relationships among others who work together.
Ability to Develop Others. This includes the ability to help others diagnose their development needs, provide appropriate feedback and other learning opportunities, coach and encourage changes in their behavior and recognize and reward improvements.
Ability to Think and Act Strategically. People who can think and act strategically have a clear sense of the desirable collective future. They make decisions, set priorities and support initiatives that will bring the current reality more in line with the desired future.
Ability to Initiate and Implement Change. This includes establishing the need for change, influencing others to participate in the change, and institutionalizing the new ways of working.”

Micromanage at Your Peril: Another perspective

This article by Christina Bielaszka-DuVernay published in Feb 2008 is quite interesting. The article was quoted recently by a leadership guru; Marshall Goldsmith in 18 Feb 2010 article titled “The Mark of a Great Leader”. Though Goldsmith main focus on his article was Self-Awareness as a leadership skill, he contended that micromanagement is one of the first things leaders should notice about their leadership style, and simply, stop doing it!

For Christina, though she contended that micromanagement is a ‘natural tendency’, and ‘might reveal opportunities for improvement’, she concluded that the typical result of such out-dated style is ’employees’ disengagement’. She presented wonderful cases and demonstrated solid numbers to expose the cost and perils of micromanagement. Please go thru her article.

Becoming a Strategic Leader

Have you been told you need to be “more strategic” in your current job? Is your organization faltering when it comes to connecting its vision and mission with the daily demands of the work? Do you struggle to balance short-term and long-term pressures?

Much is made of the importance of strategy in today’s organizations. A well-crafted, well-implemented strategy and the best strategic thinkers are seen as essential to an organization’s long-term success. Even so, managers and executives often struggle to move strategy beyond setting direction or goals and toward an on-going process of transforming and sustaining the organization.