Leadership And The “R” Word

From my 13th right up to my 21st birthday there was one word that my dad always repeated. I hated the “speeches” but they were true. They were not only true in one area of life but applies across the board. One word that my dad always repeated and spoke about was… #drum roll#: RESPONSIBILITY. That “R” word. Now I understand his lessons much much better…

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Paying Homage to Culture

Change is inherently contrary. To change your world, the world, you must be comfortable going against the culture in which you or your cause exists. Why must you pay attention to the culture? The Answer is rather simple. Because culture is what sustains anything. Paying homage to culture is about understanding its impact and how it defines everything. This is the work of leaders.

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What To Consider When You Appoint Caretaker / Interim Leadership

I wrote a post, “Why You Should Never Appoint Caretaker / Interim Leaders” that explored some reasons why caretaker or interim leaders may not be a great for the long-term of your enterprise. However, Michael made a valid point in commenting, that sometimes leadership finds itself with its back against the wall. Thus in instances that interim leaders have to be appointed, these are some of the things you must take into account:

What To Consider When You Appoint Caretaker / Interim Leaders
appointing caretaker leadership must be done as a last option; be weary about doing so || image withassociates || cc

Time

 

Be very clear about how long the interim / caretaker leadership will be in place. Not having a precise time frame can cause your team to be unsure about actions they need to take.

Temporary solutions can extend into the long-term if a time frame isn’t in place from their inception [Tweet this]

Do they have the freedom to do certain things in the absence of a more permanent leader? Without clear boundaries functions that depend on the particular leadership may take a knock. You sow seeds of apathy when a clear time frame is not in place.

Authority

Acting [insert title here] is prone to act without addressing core issues if the appointed leadership does not see their presence having a long-term impact. Thus, you must give your caretaker leadership full authority to enable them to fulfill the function of their (temporary) role.

This is important especially when the interim leaders need authority of their predecessor to address challenges. In some instances interim leaders may not have authority to fire people from a team when that is necessary for advancing. This can make the caretaker leaders nurses to problems that can be fixed.

System

Everything in your enterprise is connected. Make sure that you, and the rest of your enterprise understand the implications of the caretaker leadership in relation to the impact on all other functions.

When you appoint caretaker leadership ensure that you are not treating their function in isolation [Tweet this]

As a leader, you must always keep the big picture in sight; yet realize the importance of each function that completes the picture. The temporary ‘patch’ may cause a lot more dominoes if not handled and viewed in context of the enterprise at large.

Bonus

I highly recommend you also read (if you haven’t done so already):

What what you add? I really would love your to hear your thoughts…

 

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Why You Should Never Appoint Caretaker / Interim Leaders

Transition is at the core of leadership. Leadership is about change and there can be no worthwhile change if there is no movement from the present into a well-planned future. Besides transitions affecting enterprises, leadership itself has to navigate a lot of transitions.

Enterprises face challenges at an abrupt departure of a key leaders or team members. Sometimes challenges arise when there is no one to fill in the gap at that moment. As part of well-meant interventions caretaker or interim leaders are appointed.

These leaders may have the heart for the cause of the enterprise but deemed not completely fit to occupy the post over a long period. In other instances the leaders themselves may have concerns about themselves, opting to momentarily fill the post or get a feel for it before making a concrete commitment.

Why You Should Never Appoint Caretaker / Interim Leaders

interim can keep the boat afloat for now, but can harm the enterprise in the long term

|| image by loop_oh | cc

Here’s why you should never appoint caretaker / interim leaders:

Moment

 

Caretaker or interim leaders are generally appointed for a short period. Though they may have the long-term in mind, they are going to act for the interim. Caretaker leaders’ focus is keeping the boat afloat for the short-term. Caretakers, that is what they are. While interim leaders may keep the boat afloat, there have great potential of crippling the enterprise in the long-term.

caretaker leadership can rob your enterprise of innovation that needs to be sustained beyond its tenure [Tweet this]

Take Over

Responsible leadership is about ensuring that core operations are sustained. The permanent leaders who succeed interim leaders generally see the actions of their predecessor as temporary.

Thus they may not see any need in taking seriously and or sustaining some the decisions and systems implemented by their predecessors.

Authority

 

Interim leaders often have limited authority; they have limitations on calls they can make. Thus, they are somewhat regarded as mere figureheads.They are seen a lesser leaders. While they may command respect of those they lead, there are undertones of that they don’t measure up, hence their appointment as interim.

This can set a bad precedence as far as respect of their function when a more permanent leader takes over. Respect in the sense of appreciating what their function is supposed to fulfill.

To Consider

If you really have to appoint an interim leader, make sure they have authority over issues that affect the long-term. Be clear about what their role is and make it clear to the rest of your enterprise.

Guard the ‘sanctity’ of their function for the sake of either the interim leader in the event they assume their post permanently or for their permanent successor.

Bonus

I highly recommend you also read (if you haven’t done so already):

What what you add? I really would love your to hear your thoughts…

 

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Growing the Heretic Leader and His Vision

For continued effectiveness, heretic leaders need to be constantly growing. The greater you grow the greater your ability to not only challenge but shatter inhibiting status quo. Growing leaders are bolder with each endeavor. Growth of leaders will always translate to greater impact of the cause they champion. Leaders can get consumed with tweaking the machines that enable their vision and take themselves out of the equation. As a leader, you must realize that you are an integral and fundamental part of the machine that determines the impact of your cause.

Growing the Heretic Leader and His Vision
growth is a choice that every leader must make. without growth, you jeopardize your leadership and vision || image by nimble photography | cc

The first area of growth for heretic leaders must focus on is themselves. When you grow the leader, you grow his vision. His vision in the sense of capacity to see more clearly… Planning on enabling your vision to be realized in the future is incomplete if it does not include plans to grow yourself as a leader. One of the greatest inhibitors of your vision is your growth, or lack of it. It is how intentional about your growth. It is the pace at which you grow.

As much as heretic leaders push restraints to their vision, they push restraints to their growth. As much as you challenge the status quo of your organization, industry or any other area of focus, you must allow yourself, as an individual, to be challenged as a person and leader. It is arrogance to challenge others for change when we, as leaders, cannot do that with ourselves. The essence of self-leadership is being open to scrutiny of ourselves and our environment to point out areas of growth.

It is arrogance and hypocrisy to challenge others for change when we, as leaders, cannot do that with ourselves

Heretic leaders not only seek to see growth in the impact of their cause, but understand that it starts with them embracing the need for change and growth in their own capacity. Ask those you lead where you could be better as a leader. Find out what more they need from you as a leader. Look beyond what other heretic leaders have accomplished but look at why and how they did it. Beyond studying the methods of successful heretics, study how they grew with each failure and success. Carefully observe how they grew and apply that to your leadership.

It takes courage to be vulnerable with yourself. It takes even greater courage to allow others to point out areas of growth and potential in you. Being vulnerable is not a leadership weakness; it is exhibition of courage, seated in a desire for the growth of the leader and his vision. Choose growth. Your cause and the world will never be the same. Be bold. Be /ˈherətik/.