Are you a doer-manager? Are you the person who keeps doing many of the tasks that you did before you were promoted to manager, director, VP or even to the C-suite? Because we all know:
- no one can do the job as well as you…
- it takes too long to train someone…
- it’s easier and faster if you do it…
In my previous blog – The Leader of the Future -Part 1 – The Struggle is Real, I provided a to-do list of 5 things to think about to see if you really want to be a leader of the future. Because unless you’re willing to look in the mirror and address these 5 issues, you probably don’t need to read any more of this blog.
As I said in the previous blog: If a person aspires to be a leader in an organization, the first thing they need to do is give up doing the routine tasks and fully embrace and raise the bar on how they manage people and processes.
So how do you this?
- Define the Essential Elements or Components of Excellence
- What are the major components or essential elements of the work that define excellence or exceptional work? You were promoted because you did great work, right? So, start by documenting the essential elements of what made your work outstanding or exceptional. What did you do that distinguished your work from other people?
- Create an outline of the key criteria that distinguishes great work from good work.
- Identify standards of excellence, best-practices, state-of-the-art systems or processes.
- Discuss and collaborate with others to be sure that all essential elements and criteria are agreed upon and accepted as the standard of excellence. Keep in mind that an average or marginal manager would merely put together a list of the tasks that a person needs to learn to do a new job or new responsibility.
- Train and coach people on these essential elements of exceptional work.
- It helps to have a vision for the future so that people can see how their standards of excellence contribute to the big picture. Here are a couple examples that my clients have created: “To be the best XXX (subject matter experts) in the industry.” Or “To be recognized as the premier authority in XYZ.” Or here’s one that’s a little more detailed: “To provide exceptional experiences through our products, policies, practices and procedures that support our core values.”
- Transfer ownership, accountability and responsibility for results produced by training and coaching people on the essential elements of exceptional work. Leaders of the future understand that the key to transferring ownership and accountability is to train and coach people. An average or marginal manager continues to double check people’s work or creates roadblocks so people can’t complete the work without their involvement and/or approval.
- This process ensures development of people to gain new skills. The leader of the future wants to “train themselves out of a job” with the understanding that the same level of excellence will be maintained or exceeded. An average or marginal manager worries what they will do if a person does the job as well or better than they did.
- Continually look for way to improve: people, processes, services or products
- The leader of the future finds ways to raise the bar on excellence by streamlining or enhancing or even eliminating functions. They’re curious and aren’t afraid to ask “why are we doing this?”
- You take the initiative to make things better.
- You remove roadblocks or barriers to successful completion of projects or initiatives
- Invest time and money in your personal and professional development
- The leader of the future reads current professional/industry magazines. You not only join professional associations but will become involved in committees or take on leadership roles. You not only stay current on state-of-the-art trends in the industry and/or profession, but you recommend and/or take action on ideas and trends that will benefit your organization.
- As a leader of the future, you extend professional development to being involved in non-work-related community organizations or being on a not-for-profit board.
- You’re also interested in self-development. You do this by reading and/or taking courses that will help you grow mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically.
- Invest time and money in the development of your direct reports
- As a leader of the future, you know your direct reports’ personal and professional goals and have regular discussions to encourage, support and assist them in reaching those goals.
- You find and assign or support involvement in special projects to develop the skills that are not part of their current job. The average or marginal manager waits until the annual performance review to discuss goals and discourages special projects because they take too much time away from the job.
- Develop relationships with internal colleagues
- You proactively initiate discussions and collaborate with colleagues without being told to do so.
- You look for ways to support colleagues and their goals and/or accomplish tactical or strategic initiatives. The average or marginal manager operates in a silo; they’re not curious about other managers’ goals and interests nor do they ask for support or help or offer it to another. They’re “too busy.”
- Develop relationships with professional colleagues outside the company and industry
- As a leader of the future, you do this by fully engaging in #4.
- You have a diverse network of colleagues that you’ve developed as your career has progressed. The average or marginal manager says that talking with friends and family about their work is the same as having professional colleagues to compare best practices.
Are you sure?
So once again, I will ask you – Do you really want to be a leader of the future?
I will ask you, again, to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you have the “GWC”*:
- Do you “Get it?” Do you get that being a leader of the future is different and requires much more than being a doer-manager?
- Do you “Want it?” Do you really want to change what you’re doing to be a leader of the future?
- Do you “have the Capacity to do it?”
* (“GWC” – from Traction – Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman)
What is “Capacity?”
Keep in mind that “Capacity” can mean many things. For some, it may be that they simply don’t have the capacity to be curious or bandwidth to think outside the box. Some may not be motivated or driven to make excellence a priority.
For others, capacity can change based on life circumstances. For example, a person may be highly motivated and driven but is facing health issues or family commitments such as aging parents or children requiring more attention. And for some, they may have the ability, but are winding down their career and say, “No thanks. I just don’t want to work that hard.”
And each of these examples are OK, as long as the position they’re in doesn’t require more advanced leadership.
What do you want?
When all is said and done, it’s your life.
Be bold. Be honest with yourself… especially if your answer to these questions is “No.”
Marty Stanley, CSP, is a national speaker, executive coach and consultant on personal and organizational change. If you and your organization are ready to up-your-game to be a leader of the future – in your organization or in your industry, contact Marty today: 816-695-5453 www.alteringoutcomes.com firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.linkedin.com/in/martystanley
For a short video on Marty’s coaching services, click here.