The quality of leaders is one of the most significant determinants of the longevity and effectiveness of organizations. This means looking at big picture stuff. Part of this is making it more than a habit to always check the health of your organization, as well as to training leaders to lead.
Beyond training leaders to lead is actually leading them. A lot of enterprises lose their leaders because they fail in leading them. Leaders are looking for more than opportunities to lead but to be led well, also.
Some (not comprehensive) thoughts on how to lead leaders:
The temptation, when dealing with or leading leaders is that you don’t need to go over leadership 101 with them. Most leaders fail because of neglecting the 101 stuff. Always remind and challenge your leaders on the foundations of leadership.
Failing at what we call, “Simple things”, have seen the demise of many leaders. They need to be reminded because they can get so focused on what the need to achieve and overlook the platform that enables their leadership, the basics.
Go ahead focus on the “higher level stuff” but not at the expense of the basics.
Leaders can easily call a bluff. They will soon crash your masquerade. Be real. Be honest about some of your struggles and challenges in leadership. Don’t pretend to have all the answers. Be transparent.
By so doing you not only challenge them to do the same, but also you built an honest and strong leadership team. It will also give them freedom to be real with you. Authenticity is the new authority and credibility builder. Get with it.
You’re failing to lead leaders when you don’t constantly push them off the edge. Leaders that are not challenged are bored and frustrated leaders and you will soon lose them.
For their own sake, the sake of those they lead and your cause, you must challenge them. Unchallenged leaders are comfortable and complacent leaders.
Leaders without a fresh challenge are not innovators. They are mere managers of the things as they are. Create programs or projects that are out of their scope and skill-set to force them to grow.
Innovation is not always by chance. It is caused. Pushing your leaders to challenge something they haven’t is one of the ways of making it happen.
When leader don’t grow they will go. Leave.
Reins and Room
Titles without authority behind them are just that. Titles. You must give your leaders room to lead.
Give them the authority they need to fulfill whatever responsibilities you give them. Endorse their authority when it comes to those they lead. In fact, this is a key to giving them support.
Your turn: what do you recommend when it comes to leading leaders?