08 Feb Working For Your Leadership Requirements
Your organisation is unique by virtue of its people, history, culture and its customers. If this is the case, why would you think your leadership requirements are static and the same as other organisations?
You might not of course, but in our experience not enough attention or analysis is done on understanding the changing context of the organization. This also applies to the specific leadership implications of that.
Let us share a client inspired example:
A growing company where to date the leaders have been both entrepreneurial and visionary. This has helped them generate their past success and growth. Fast forward to today, where building on that success is proving more difficult. The organisation is larger and everything seems more complex. Past investments into the company and new people haven’t always returned the anticipated benefits! Post GFC the competition has intensified and the market demands are more volatile.
Clearly the context has changed. Therefore, the necessary leadership capabilities and characteristics have changed as well.
The challenge is to ensure the organisation has the right leadership in place now and in the future to handle new challenges. This is easier to articulate than to do, for a number of reasons:
Many Organisations are Over-Managed and Under-Led
Organisations typically have a myriad of management layers, guidelines, and practices. All of these are important for the day-to-day functioning of the business. However, because these processes are often focused on the short-term, they do not reflect the company’s overall long-term objectives. Trapped into focusing our energies on responding to today, we are unable to prepare for tomorrow. Emphasis is on centralized and distributed management and not leadership. Where leadership is present it is focused in pockets of the organization such the executive team or a particular division. Either way, it cannot act all across the entire organisation.
Situations Change and so do Leadership Requirements
The roles and responsibilities, styles, and actions of leaders need to constantly adapt. This applies to both your market and internal relativities. Understanding roles and determining the appropriate time to use certain styles is an ongoing process – given the current dynamic business environment.
Developing Leaders Takes Time, Energy and Skill
Not many executives or HR professionals would say developing leaders is NOT important. The trouble is, that all too often, resources and energy intended for the development of leaders gets channeled into more pressing concerns.
This is not helped by a lack of understanding on how best to grow and develop leaders. If international research on leadership development is to be believed, a significant proportion of management and leadership development programmes simply are not delivering
How to Address the Leadership Challenge
Strong leadership is at the core of all great companies – emerging or established. To scale its operations, a company requires a critical mass of leadership capabilities at all levels. Doing this requires a company to understand both its management and leadership requirements,
Leadership and management are both mission critical. They are also very different in their goals and results. Distinguishing the relationship between the two and understanding how each influences your organization are the first steps in creating a strong foundation of leadership.
Developing leaders and managers is a strategic issue and remains a strategic issue with profound implications for companies that fail to adequately address it.