Last year I was helping my son pick out his first car after his college graduation. Ben had been hired for a sales position at a technology company in Denver. What a great feeling. As he was coming closer to his final decision, he was trying to decide between two similar cars, one with a navigation system, and one without.
For a bit more, he chose the car with the navigation system, and has the decision reinforced every day he travels to a new account or area of his sales territory. With each contact, he has a roadmap of how to get to the important part of his day – meeting with his prospect or client.
While we may not always be using a navigation system, we realize the importance of a roadmap into uncharted territories of business, relationships and leadership. When we stray from the roadmap, we pay the consequences. With it, we remain focused on the key aspects of our work, minimize distractions and achieve the best results.
The problem isn’t that I don’t have a navigation system wired in my brain, it’s that I choose not to use what I know when I need to, or at times, I react before thinking it through. Sometimes I’m in too much of a hurry or too stubborn to admit I need a roadmap. Other times I find myself overwhelmed with so much that I find myself in paralysis.
Caught in the Middle:
It’s a pretty easy fix when I need have the time to plan and manage individual projects with clients & colleagues. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Without time or a roadmap, I find myself too distracted, not using my time efficiently, and most important, missing opportunities with clients and colleagues.
Seeking Greater Success:
If you find yourself without navigation systems and a plan, how will you achieve greater success? I’ve covered many different development tactics for building organization leadership throughout the year. With this issue, I offer you a comprehensive roadmap to lead others and better manage the results you envision for your business.
Is the solution that you have to attend a particular workshop with all of the managers in your organization? Is it that you have to be exposed to the latest thoughts or a particular expert at the university? What is I could have the organization provide you an executive coach? Undoubtedly, all of these would help, but in and of themselves, they are only part of the solution. Far too often, we focus on the development event, not the planning and follow-up that need to accompany the event. The other issue is that we look at development outside of the context of our work – as something extra.
The Leadership RoadmapTM eliminates these issues and provides you with a viable process to improve your leadership capability. It provides you a roadmap but allows the flexibility of moving in and out of steps as needed.
- Leadership Intent: It begins and ends with your intent. What type of leader do you hope to become? Do you embrace the role of leader and manager in the midst of everything that is expected?
- Daily Response: Now that you have embraced the role of a leader, how well do you respond to opportunities and situations that arise every day? Decisions, work tasks, meetings fill your day and mine. Are you making the most of what presents itself?
- Assessment & Feedback: Effective leaders not only leverage formal feedback such as 360-degree assessments and performance reviews, but seek out colleague’s opinions and insights on a regular basis. Do you have a hunger for the reality provided by others?
- Intent & Action Plan: This is a major step for managers striving to be leaders. They establish an intent and plan of action ‘to become’ the leader they envision. What goals have you set for yourself? Which of your natural strengths could you best leverage?
- Development & Coaching: Only now are you ready to define opportunities for learning and growth. Given your work environment and leadership expectations, look for development opportunities available to you. Don’t stop there however. Look for people who can offer real-time feedback and coaching to you along the way.
- Results Management: With a goal in mind, you not only have something to strive for, but a way to measure your success. At the end of the quarter or year, how have you done? How will you update the next phase of your plan based on what you have learned?
Wishing you all the best in your leadership journey, and will always welcome your comments, feedback and input.