DO YOU HAVE WHAT it takes to be a successful leader? Possibly not. Forty percent of all new leaders don’t last 18 months in their organisation. The problem? They are not properly equipped to lead. Nine out of ten new leaders say they arrive at the top feeling they lack the know-how and tools to succeed. And most don’t get the support they needâ€”starting with the boss.
These new leaders also discover that what got them there from working non-stop to paying attention to the small details isn’t enough to keep them there. This is also costing companies it is estimated that for every failed senior leader hired more than $2.5 million goes down the gurgler. This is costing the company, the shareholders and ultmately the customers. The good news? What it takes to make it as an execuflve can be leamt It’s a matter of picking up new skills and strengths and letting go of old onesâ€”even if they’ve driven your career success up untU now. Here’s how to beat the odds as a rising leader.
- Let go of self-doubt. Know yourself and your peculiarities, failures and strengths. Insecurity sucks the strength from a team because they cannot bear to see anyone excel. Put confidence in your presence and purpose you were chosen because you have a unique mix of skills and abilities use them.
- Let go of running flat-out until you crash. On your deathbed you wont be wishing that you spent a few more hours at the office. You wont become a hero by working 24/7 in fact when I look at a leader I see such misdirected workaholism as a weakness.. Besides you are setting a bad example for everyone else and youâ€™ll bum out and those around you will too. A leader who tries to operate 24/7 is bad for other people’s morale. Break the cycle by scheduling regular time for recovery and renewal.
- Let go of one-size-fits-all communication. Customize every message for the group and goals at hand. Learn to communcate well, practice what you are going to say. Then take the time to listen. This will always be the best part of what you say. Its what you do when you stop talking that really determines your effectiveness as a communicator. Less is more.
- Let go of self-reliance. Replace “me” with “we.” You may have advanced here on your own, but now you are only as good as your team. Jim Collins recognises that in Good to Great companies the leader is able to stop being the centre of attention.
- Let go of the urge to tell “how.” Micromanaging is a sure way to fail. Set the agenda for what gets done and leave the how to your team.
- Let go of responsibility. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Responsibility for a few results belongs to your team. Accoimtability for many results belongs to you.
- Let go of’only looking up and down. There’s more to consider than what’s up with the boss or what’s going down with subordinates. Look left and right, too, since partnerships with peers provide valuable informaflon.
- Let go of an inside-out view. An innermost perspecflve may have served you in the past, but it won’t now. Lead with an outside-in view by knowing what else is happening in the intemal and extemal environment.