We believe, based on our own quarter-century of work finding leaders hidden in plain sight within organizations, that anyone can lead if given the right tools and guidance. So when the authors write that “in many cases” middle managers can become good leaders, they understate the potential payoff that comes from investing in formal, organized, measured leadership training for middle managers. All middle managers can improve their leadership ability, and some of them will really transform themselves into highly productive leaders. So train them all!
Transformational leadership is a mindset that takes time to embed as habitual. The steps you need to take each day are not hard to describe, you simply must recommit yourself to adopt them consistently, and make them your default behavior. This will naturally raise engagement with other employees (up, down and sideways) and raise your, and their, productivity! Get started right now.
We close leadership gaps here at Bovo-Tighe. Our experience tells us that one big leadership gap is found in the way organizations foster leadership. Effective leadership development is not merely a function assigned to the HR department and checked in on occasionally; it is a core survival function within any organization: Too many organizations consider leadership development a tactical element of other strategic imperatives, rather than as a core strategic imperative in its own right. Does your organization put leadership development at the center of its strategic plan?
How do you make the big transition from follower to leader when you win your first promotion into management? You were given the job because you performed well as a "doer," and show potential to be a great leader. Most of us, however, need to learn how to lead effectively. How best to kick-start that leadership development? Here are seven key areas in which to focus your energy and drive.
There is a lot of leadership development advice built around the idea that you should better develop your "top talent" or "high potentials." We think this is bad advice. Leaders should not "pick winners" within their team members: Their mission must be to develop all the talent for which they are responsible. Indeed, the greatest value is found in nurturing those not so obviously "top" and taking their contribution to significantly higher levels. Anyone can lead, if given the support and resources to do so.
Do you find yourself trying to adopt leadership styles that seem to work for peers and bosses around you? Has that adaptation worked, or does it make you feel awkward, even stressed? How have you resolved this conflict between your natural approach to relationships and your desire to project leadership qualities? You cannot lead exactly as others do!
You may be adapting your behavior a bit too much, and need to spend some time examining how you best relate to people. You need to be you, and build a unique leadership “style."