Last week I wrote about Best Practices in Leadership and, specifically, Level Five leadership and why it matters. Continuing this discussion, rank yourself on the Five Level Leadership Hierarchy, courtesy of Jim Collins:
- Level 5 – Executive: Builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical combination of personal humility plus unbending professional will.
- Level 4 – Effective Leader: Catalyzes commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision; stimulates the group to high performance standards.
- Level 3 – Competent Manager: Organizes people and resources toward the effective and efficient pursuit of predetermined objectives.
- Level 2 – Contributing Team Member: Contributes to the achievement of group objectives and works effectively with others in a group setting.
- Level 1 – Highly Capable Individual: Makes productive contributions through talent, knowledge, skills, and good work habits.
Commit to Improve Your Performance
Consider how you honestly ranked yourself on the Leadership Hierarchy. When you objectively look at where your company is today in terms of its current situation and where it needs to be headed long-term, how do you need to improve as a leader? In my experience many executives of midsize firms are very competent managers, which is primarily why they are in the positions that they hold today. The challenge is thinking that what got you this far will get you where you need to be. In 2009, the economic and competitive challenges are difficult and having a very real impact on virtually every business that I know. Every business leader needs to learn how to improve for the benefit of themselves and the companies they lead
So think expansively for a minute about the reality of your current situation and where your company really needs to be in the future. Many people are familiar with the following Lean Planning Model of the Current State & Future State, and it holds as well for this discussion on Leadership:
Consider how you need to improve as the leader of your company to achieve your Future State. Can you honestly answer what your strengths and weaknesses are in terms of your ability to lead? If you think about how you ranked yourself on the Leadership Hierarchy above, what is the next level that your need to achieve?
If you are like many executives and believe you need to grow into a Level 4 – Effective Leader as your next step, what are your options to do so?
One very clear option is to engage with an Executive Coach to help you transition. Why use a coach? Consider the following rationale:
- Many business owners and CEO’s lack an effective analysis, feedback and planning process to make strategic decisions about their companies and their own future plans
- Trusted advisor and coaching engagements can provide business leaders with objective insight to profitably grow even in difficult economic times
- Coaching initiatives focused at adding value to the business produce substantial Return on Investments (ROI) when managed as a strategic imperative
The Four Phase Coaching Process: