Raising your leadership ability will result in reaching your organization’s full potential manifested through people, not just process. The Leaders Factor is designed to start you on your journey to raising your leadership ability.
What influence does leadership ability have on your organization reaching it’s full potential?
Scouts that wander out too far away from the group sometimes get eaten! Those of you that follow me know that I have been talking and teaching a lot about the Leadership Alignment. At the Leaders Factor we talk about building a bridge between leadership ability and process to reach our full potential. Said another way would be to address the leaders’ need to connect with people in order to support the process.
After years executive and corporate coaching experience I had to ask myself, “Why then, all to often, do these effective process frameworks end up not sustainable?” One of my most popular workshops over the years has been, “Culture vs Process”. What we are now realizing is that this is much more ingrained in our social fabric. This may be better stated as, “Leadership Ability + Process Frameworks = Organizational Potential”. Along our evolution we have moved from manufacturing to knowledge work. However, the transition for the way we manage our organizations seems a bit stuck in the command and control mindset.
In manufacturing we set up our professional culture as role-driven. We followed authority. We did our jobs the way they were designed by the people with authority and were promoted almost exclusively by achieving time at the company. This was a powerful time in the evolution. Production was mainstream. The age of manufacturing became very process-driven and it was working. Part A fits into Part B…. Eventually, in an effort to do better and achieve more, the people doing the work became pragmatic and success oriented. Our desire began to shift and the horizon for promotion began to move toward achievement, innovation and accountability. A new driver came into focus – We were becoming value-driven! It is important to note that at this point the process or the way we get work done was slow to change. The way we viewed our professional culture was up for yet another change.
Value Driven – in this evolution, what has risen to the top is driven by value. New ideas evolved to encourage customer feedback, self-directed work teams and frequent delivery cycles. These are exciting times. We have moved into a professional culture of delivering business value through faster delivery, enabling quicker customer response and higher quality to the marketplace. Important changes were made to the way we get work done through new frameworks, adaptive planning and continuous improvement. We have identified new frameworks to successfully support a value-driven process that is quick to respond to the marketplace.
The way we get work done has evolved from role-driven to process-driven to results-driven and then on to value-driven. But what effect has this had on the people doing the work? An even better question may be, what about the leaders who should be the champions of those people? Has the way we support the innovative, now value minded, people made the trip?
Enter “the Leaders Path” –To be a more effective leader you will need to increase your influence and effectiveness with others. To have greater influence with others you will need to add value to them. To add value to others you need to connect with them and to connect with them you need to move from me-to-we. So the Leaders Path is four steps; Move from Me-to-We, Connect, Add Value and then gain influence and effectiveness.
While raising my three boys I often used the phrase, “it’s all about who you know” in effort to emphasize how important it is to connect with people. To this day I believe that people do not care about what you know until they know you care. To be successful it is vital we recognize the value and importance of connecting with other people. By connecting with other people we are talking about moving from Me to We, adding value to those we influence. At the Leaders Factor we believe by adding value to others we will increase our effectiveness and gain influence making us better leaders. With this as a benchmark, we have evolved the way we get work done (process). My question for you to consider is, did we evolve equally when it comes how we encourage the success of today’s innovative and relationship-driven people that seek consensus and fairness from everyone? Today’s knowledge worker is relationship-driven and will thrive working in our corporate culture only if we raise our leadership ability. This is a great achievement representing a big organizational change from just a few years ago. Our next evolution as leaders is to make sure to provide a workplace that encourages the same. We will NOT reach our full organizational potential if we continue the practice of role-based authority-driven positional leadership.
Earlier we mentioned a scout getting eaten by being too far away from the group. These days we at the Leaders Factor feel like those scouts. As successful leadership coaches, speakers and teachers we are concerned about the sustainability and ability of our organizations to reach their full potential. As we wander out looking for a solution it seems to some like we are am moving away from the proven and successful process frameworks. Perhaps we are moving away from the process only frameworks in support of raising our leadership ability. In support of the people doing the work, we recognize we am part of the next evolution. We can reach our full potential ONLY if we raise our leadership ability. I’ll go a step further and state my belief that this next evolution will have a positive global effect and we desire to be part of it. At the Leaders Factor we remain committed Leadership Coaches seeking the answer to reaching full and sustainable organization potential. We can do this!
I will leave you with a few questions.
Can we get the results we desire with process improvement alone?
Can we reach our full potential with Frameworks and management alone?
Can we achieve our full and sustainable organizational potential through process alone?
Can we reach an evolution that is leadership driven where we are adding value to others leaving our egos and authority behind?
If this resonates with you we would love to hear from you. (coach@leadersfactor.com) or (Connect With Us)
I would personally like to thank you for investing your time into reading these thoughts. We look forward to connecting with you and adding value to your organization.
Thomas Bookhamer, CEO
Leaders Factor, LLC