Zen and the Art of Growing Leaders
– by Coach Colle Davis
Today’s focus is on quarterly earnings, short-term bumps in revenue, and how to look good in the media. The hard work is done by underlings who are underpaid, under-appreciated, and who the world depends on to make life happen.
If you are in a leadership position or want to be in that position soon, think about these items.
1. Who will replace you when you move up or out? You need at least two, and better three, strong candidates on the bench ready to fill in immediately or as soon as you move.
Do you have those people in training? No, why not? Money is not the issue at this level, it is loyalty, listening carefully, and rewarding the behavior you wish to encourage as the prime movers.
- What do you want for an outcome? What job/position do you want in the next year or two?
Be specific in describing it so you can tell karma what to look for as you move forward. You can also tell others that you want to help them move up in their careers.
- What must happen for you to get that position?
What resources do you need to have in place, who do you have to help you up the ladder, who do you have to nurture to create a relationship you can call on later?
And what does the person you want to replace need, to be gone?
- What will your life be like when you get to your dream job? How will you help others to get their dream jobs? What is next after that move
Managers are there to control the resources to maximize value to the company. They are the traffic cops, the supervisor, the go-to person, the first-level HR person, and the ones who catch flak from both directions. Their job is to keep the flow happening.
Leaders are in charge of having the right people deliver value to the stakeholders and making the company look good. Their function includes PR, networking, sales, marketing support, and keeping their reports up to date on anything that may impact performance. This includes nipping gossip in the bud by sharing the truth, being honest in responding to rumors, and keeping the C-level informed.
Is it possible to move an excellent manager up into a leadership position? The short answer depends on the manager, and if they want the new job. Managers who have been managing for over a decade are set in their ways and may not want the added responsibility of being a leader.
Coach’s Note: A leader’s job is much easier than a manager’s job. The difference is the amount of risk involved. Managers are seldom at risk, even if they screw up because the company needs managers to make things happen.
A leader’s time revolves around encouraging others to stay involved with the company, expand their influence through the media and networking, and help their boss(es) grow the company and look good. They lead by example.
Choose your targets carefully. These include the job/position you want, your replacement(s), and who can help or be in your way of success.
If your efforts and energy are not going to help others get their outcomes on your way up, you are stagnant or on the way down.
Making a decision requires choice, and choice means you are suffering. Stop the suffering by defining specifically what you want for an outcome. Your subconscious will do the rest.
Stay focused and reap the rewards.