What is the work of a leader?

Vision – Alignment – Execution

Wiley’s global long-term research published in 2013 concluded that the “Work of Leaders” is three pronged.

1. Craft the vision

2. Align other to that vision

3. Execute the plan to make that vision, reality. S

o not only are you running a business and dealing with all of those, operational, commercial, financial, legislative and human elements factors. For faff sake you are meant to be doing this “Work of Leaders” too?!!!

There are natural leaders who have the knack. There are those of us who are good at one or two elements of the 3.

And then there’s some of us feeling like a fish flopping around on the deck of a ship. I’m delighted for those that have all 3 nailed (through conditioning or conscious effort).

Delighted for them and for us! These “models” have been the rich resources, the now practical and easy to comprehend and apply research has been based on. Then there is the rest of us who, if we want our dreams and goals brought to life we have to put some conscious muscle into what we are building and run a “parrallel program” – focus on the business and on leading as two separate things until we have enough leadership competency that it no longer is experienced as two programs, it has become one larger program all intertwined.

*** So we start with creating a vision (which can be the simplest of simples to the most complex, clever creation – doesn’t matter!). Now you may not have conscious articulation of your “vision”, but it is in there and if you haven’t forced yourself to get out of your limbic bain (feelings) and into your frontal lobe (language, creativity, problem solving etc) you will experience some wandering, false starts and slow progress.

GET IT ON PAPER PEOPLE. I don’t care if it is version 43,798! The vision SHOULD be continually evolving as you learn. Notice if you have resistance to “making it solid” – that’s a warning sign you’ve got some negative emotions contaminating your focus Next stop!

Align and engage with dialogue, assumption testing and experimentation. Alignment can be as simple as negotiating terms with a supplier, all the way through to coaching sales people to dominate the market or executing a marketing strategy.

If you are not strong is your alignment that way to know is you get very positive upfront responses from people then their motivation fades away and they start running their own agenda inside your operation, You can also tell by a scaling ceiling – you’ll have attempted expansion but kept retracting back to the same or only mildly increased size after an initial flurry of activity.

Last round… Execution. Have you ever tried to get a 5 year old ready and out of the house, on a deadline to get somewhere? (Can you tell I’m a mother?!)

Well this is a leadership exercise in of itself! If that kid: > Isn’t into the vision – doesn’t want to go/doesn’t’ want to cooperate with you. > Hasn’t been aligned – didn’t get setup with expectations of how the process of getting ready and leaving will go and understand what is needed of them. > Isn’t supported in their execution – Doesn’t get the repetition and support of “Now get your shoes please… OK, now get your shoes please… OK, now get your shoes please”. Then it ain’t going to go well. We seem to understand on a micro level an interaction like this and have realistic expectations of what this type of leadership takes.

But when it comes to grown ups, businesses operations, collaboration, teamwork, performance and delivery we flat out get indignant that we would need to be a supportive executor. Please don’t read this and think I’m encouraging leaders to be repetitive nags – if you’ve done that you’re having a reaction and pay attention to that!

Execution is a combination of supporting leadership (providing continual influence over the peoples’ focus ) AND structures, checkpoints and measure that ensure progress is happening, in the right direction! The kid not having their shoes on is an easy measure and if I check after we are in the car I think I’m the sucker there. Skills lacking in execution are inconsistent results, not knowing your numbers, not knowing HPAs^^^ of each part of the business, more than 20 variance in forecasts to actuals and staff retention issues. From your quick introduction to these concepts you’ll probably see what element in your “work of leaders” is you achilles.

Let’s minimise the drama and maximise your power – book in a call to tell me about your achilles and we’ll figure out if I am the right person to support you. You can perform a DiSC Work of Leaders Analysis are receive a custom report, rnaking you on every element inside the three areas and be coached on how to minimise the impact of your “missing” areas. Rock on beautiful people.

***If you are curious about these type of paradigm shifts check out this article.

***Mastery? If prowess, capability and mastery is your jam, then your Conscious Vs Unconscious skills is what you need to look at.

^^^HPAs – oh yeah baby!

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