Updated: Nov 8, 2021
"A lack of authenticity is often one of the first criticisms that will be made of a leader. First, we must know ourselves. Then, we must own ourselves, and only after we 'be' ourselves wholly, can we help others do the same”
30-50% of senior leaders fail, or have left within 18 months of a new appointment (Watkins, 2003).
Common problems that leaders, who naturally have a strong drive toward power and achievement and success, run into include:
- A need to dominate and control
- Focusing on action vs. Thought
- A need to be “right”
- Lack of patience
- A need to be associated with success
- A need to avoid “failure”
- A high need for self-determination
- A need to feel powerful
- A need to know
- An exaggerated sense of responsibility
- Struggling to balance work demands and life
When it comes to transitioning from management to leadership, there is a tendency to focus on one’s own needs first, and while a healthy dose of narcissism is necessary to provide enough confidence to lead, it can result in a failure to see things from other’s perspective.
A leader needs to support others, which requires the ability to truly listen to, and empathize. A leader as such, also needs to have the acorn mindset, as their team’s performance actually reflects their own beliefs.
For example, if Anna’s boss gives her only tasks within her level of performance, she won’t get a chance to grow beyond this point. Whereas if her boss believes in her potential, they may give her guidance and support in performing new and more complex tasks, giving Anna the chance to exceed current expectations.
In fact, rather than having a business pay for a structured and technical fix, companies would fare better employing a humanistic psychological performance improvement strategy that targets limitations to self-belief in a leader, and their team.
Getting the right people “on the bus” is one of the most crucial strategies of a successful organization that perpetually exceeds objectives and business goals.
So, what makes a successful leader?
It is the gradual shift:
- In perspective from an operational day-to-day view, to a strategic long-term view
- From being directive, to supportive and enabling others
- From “getting ahead” to getting along with others
- From ruthlessness, to empathy
It takes great skill and self-awareness to transition & adopt these generally opposing perspectives and relational dynamics, so successful leaders are rare. This is because most of us have a general preference toward one or the other, however, those were learned habits of behaving, and can be unlearned/shifted over time with some added support.
Shifting into a new performance role means the responsibility of innovation, inspiration and strategy is now your’s, and old habits in management roles where you may have been working within known parameters, processes and operations no longer apply. Now, the responsibility for the current, and future success of the organization, is yours.
A leader must focus on the unknown, which for someone who is accustomed to manager roles can be daunting.
Leading means to focus on the future, and what changes are required to get there. This is emotionally based, rather than based on facts alone. It is people & relationship based, not task-based. A leader must be able to inspire others in such a way that they want to follow.
For these reasons, most leaders seek coaching – to support this transition.
Remember, leaders are promoted into their roles because the organization believes that they will develop, learn and adapt their behaviour to be successful in the new role, not just because they were good at their old role.
Coaching facilitates the development of the skillset needed to make this transition a successful one, within the organization’s objectives.
If Executive Coaching is something you might be interested in, please use the Contact From to request a complimentary 15-30 minute telephone consultation with us at Neu Wellness Group. Please also see our other blog on reasons to engage an Executive Coach and why choose Neu Wellness Group above all else for Coaching
Whether it's a couple of sessions, or a longer term relationship, it would be a pleasure to become a bold addition to your performance enhancement strategy, and role transition period.