Liz's Latest Articles
A client, the Director of North American Operations, asked me to review a proposed Corporate Leadership Development Program that had just come across his desk. Something about it felt ‘off’ to him, but he couldn’t quite identify what was making him uncomfortable. After a quick look, I could see the problem. The plan had many of the correct elements to a sound leadership development program. However, the order in the focus areas was wrong. The plan was proposing the training topics discuss Customers, People (i.e., team members), Products, and then Culture.
Do you believe your managers can really manage? Do you believe your managers have the skills to make their own department or team decisions? Do you believe your managers can outline their own department or team projects and budgets? Do you believe your managers can resolve their own team problems and make sound decisions concerning their teams and talent? If you really believed your managers could manage, you wouldn’t be involved in so many of their management-level decisions and actions. You’d trust your managers to manage.
We’re now in the midst of the traditional strategic planning season. Given that, we’re partnering with several organizations whose planning teams are working hard to outline a clear, focused path forward for their respective organizations. For leaders who have previously experienced the strategic planning process, this process can be frustrating, stimulating, demoralizing, and energizing all at the same time. However, for leaders who struggle to comprehend the need to define and capture new strategic initiatives while not documenting and tracking oppressive current operations, the strategic planning process can be perplexing to say the least. Being able to understand and accept the difference in strategic versus complex operational actions is key to successful strategic planning.
I’m seeing it more and more frequently. In discussions with clients and colleagues, they see it too. This fundamental leadership skill is diminishing in leaders across industries, across generations, and ethnicities. It’s fading less rapidly at the executive level. Several of my clients admit it’s diminishing within their executive teams as well. However, I see it more obviously with mid-level managers.
Managers are losing the ability to stay focused on the task at hand and deliver what is expected.
What can basic random words, adjectives, tell you about your leadership? I believe quite a bit. Let me explain. Last week a colleague and I were discussing various ways to help leaders visualize and internalize specific changes needed to help them, their teams, and their organizations to be even more effective. A simple way to do this is to simply analyze your leadership adjectives. The words used to describe your leadership often describe your leadership challenges.