Your role requires that you lead. You may be in charge of a team, a greater area of responsibility, or even an enterprise.
Yet, if you think your job is to simply lead those who report to you, think again.
You need to manage up, down, and sideways.
Because strong team leadership is not enough to support the enterprise effectively. Research continues to prove this as we examine what works – and what doesn’t – to align culture, increase business impact, and frankly, to ensure your career success.
Effective leadership means that you need to be able to develop trust, forge shared accountability, and strengthen your influence at every level in the organization.
How do you do this? By managing this up, down, and across.
Here’s a quick checklist – can you identify where you need to strengthen your leadership in managing?
Are you aligned with your leader’s agenda? As you work with your CEO, your board, or other leader, are you focusing on strategic issues and demonstrating financial results? Or does your own agenda distract from these key areas, wasting time, energy, money, and brainpower?
Many a seasoned leader has fallen into complacency with what works for their particular team. In doing so, their ability to see the larger picture diminishes. If you find yourself in the latter situation, you will want to acquire or revive your company-wide lens to connect your role and your team’s charge to the organizational agenda.
Have you aligned your reports’ work to the agenda of the company? Or have the growing demands placed on your area strayed from the larger agenda? When I first begin work with a company in growth mode, I frequently discover that teams may be working on things that have little to do with the current company agenda.
Shifting priorities at the top means close communication at all levels to share this so that all are supporting the enterprise in their focus, responsibilities, and assigned work. When was the last time you re-examined your reports’ roles, assigned projects, and accompanying goals and deadlines, to make sure these align with the company’s direction and focus?
Have you aligned with your colleagues, both intra- and inter-team, so that you support shared accountability and success? Or are you shooting virtual arrows at your colleagues and their teams because they are holding you back or interfering with your ability to deliver?
The lion’s share of productivity problems in an organization result from a lack of commitment and ability to solve problems between teams. Forging strong ties and agreeing to keep communication channels open for this are key to keeping employees engaged and motivated, and your customer’s journey an excellent one.
Where do you stand as you review these three areas? What is the one thing you can do now to move forward in this area so that you can capture greater success?
Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive coaching, leadership development, succession planning, change, and conflict management. She is also a Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.