Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Tips for Leaders

Congratulations....you’re a manager!

Now what?

You’ve gone from being managed to doing the managing without benefit of the “how to” book (and no...manuals rarely work. As an executive coach you know I’m going to say experience beats any book, and if you don’t believe me, believe statistics. www.abetterperspective.com/coaching_statistics.htm )

So how do you make that transition? The speed with which organisations change put people into roles they’re nowhere near ready for, breeding overwhelmed, under-qualified people with power. And it’s not that they’re not capable. It’s just that they’ve been put into positions without the proper training and told to “just do it”.

Large companies wouldn’t hear of letting someone loose with a piece of heavy equipment without the proper training, but they’d let the same people loose on unsuspecting hopeful staff with no training at all.

So here is my short, sweet, to the point list for starters. And then, before things turn reactive instead of proactive and you’re always trying to keep your head above water, call in a Coach, preferably a Shadow Coach who can translate awareness of skills into action and make you aware of your shortcomings so you can improve and learn from them. A leader doesn't necessarily have to know everything there is to know about the doing. He/She needs to have the skills to recognise these talents in others and lead them. Then they'll be starting off from a position of power rather than fixing what’s quickly broken.

Here’s my list:

1. Never do what you can delegate. And once you delegate, empower them to do it themselves and trust that they will.

2. Never forget where you were before you got there.

3. No one likes a know-it-all. Everyone has more to learn and much to listen to. One has power WITH people, not over them. And the first step is to harness their expertise and share yours with them to help them grow.

4. Lead each one individually according to their strengths. A team is not unique, but the people within the team are.

5. As unique as each individual is, so is their talents. Harness them in such a way that you have groups of people who work as cohesive teams, each with its own strengths. Through this you’ll not only get the job done, but create a strong vision for the future. This is because they take ownership in creating it.

6. Just because you’re asked to do something doesn’t mean you have to,. Pick and choose what you spend your energy on and you’ll always have enough to do what needs to be done with plenty left over to explore what you’re passionate about.

That's about it....for now.

Donna Karlin

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