Updated: Apr 17, 2020
Here's the truth. Leadership is hard but a necessary and worthy skill and quality to pursue. It's so so fundamental that in a study of 14,000 businesses by the European commission among four other traits leadership was ranked in the top three traits that determines the longevity, profitability and health of those organisations that make it into the top 3% of companies in their industry.
What’s most challenging about leading organisations today?
1. Developing Managerial Effectiveness is the challenge of developing the relevant skills — such as time-management, prioritisation, strategic thinking, decision-making, and getting up to speed with the job — to be more effective at work.
2. Inspiring Others is the challenge of inspiring or motivating others to ensure they are satisfied with their jobs and working smarter.
3. Developing Employees is the challenge of developing others, including mentoring and coaching.
4. Leading a Team is the challenge of team-building, team development, and team management. Specific challenges include how to instill pride in a team or support the team, how to lead a big team, and what to do when taking over a new team.
5. Guiding Change is the challenge of managing, mobilising, understanding and leading change. Guiding change includes knowing how to mitigate consequences, overcome resistance to change, and deal with employees’ reaction to change.
6. Managing Internal Stakeholders and Politics is the challenge of managing relationships, politics, and image. This challenge includes gaining managerial support and managing up and getting buy-in from other departments, groups or individuals
Knowing that these challenges are common experiences for middle and senior managers is helpful to both the leaders and those charged with their development.
Here are 5 concrete things leaders can do to address these common challenges:
Learn and Grow. It’s critical that you are always looking to self-develop, improve and be on the edge of new ideas, tech and business culture.
Set Goals. Be proactive in setting goals, and with setting timelines and deadlines required to meet them.
Delegate more. Delegating can make you more productive. The act of delegation can also empower your colleagues to take more ownership.
Work on tasks that maximise your unique value. Among all the organisational priorities, there will always be important tasks that only you can do. These are the tasks you should focus on. As a result, you’ll maximise your specific value to the organisation. Everything else, try to delegate.
Gain some role clarity. Understand what your work does and doesn’t entail. With that, you may have to practice and be comfortable saying “no.”