What is a “leader”, in the minds of many people the image of such a leader-leader immediately arises, who knows everything and is responsible for everything.
What is a "leader", in the minds of many people immediately there is an image of such a leader-ringleader who knows everything and is responsible for everything. Is it possible to teach someone or independently learn to be a leader. There is enough information on this topic on the net, we want to add a few important small touches to it.
Who needs business leadership and why? Leadership - behavioral characteristics. And if someone is interested in developing leadership (for whom, this is a separate question), allocating corporate resources to this, then who is this and why does he (she, they) need it?
The first answers given by practice are as follows. Business owners (investors) are interested in business development and effective management. They will support and develop leadership precisely out of this interest. In this case, leadership development will be broadcast to all floors of the corporate building, starting from the top, which will be the subject of our attention. In this article, leadership is considered as a trait of the work of the management team. For a commitment to leadership to remain valid, it must deliver business results. Next, we will specifically consider in more detail what they can consist of and in what way they can be achieved.
Leadership in what and whom to lead?
Leadership example 1. Investor concern: how will the new management work?
After the change of ownership, the strategic investor, with the help of a recruiting agency, selected the CEO and CFO. A little later, new directors for security and personnel joined the management team. But it would be a stretch to call this group a team: the directors constantly entered into disputes without a prospect of resolution, decisions were made, but their implementation was delayed. The investor representative turned to the trainers-consultants with a request to organize the work of the team.
When inviting management consultants, the investor's representative formulated the request as follows: directors of a company are not able to work in a team, they need to be taught to work collectively.
Our problem is that each of us is a leader, and no one is determined to obey, to be a leader in conditions of joint work.
the CEO told the consultants.
The development of the company requires a transition from the way of work that is customary for managers, in which, according to the CEO, “everyone diligently plows his own garden”, to real cooperation, in which each of the top managers is able to fulfill the role of both a leader and a follower.
After preliminary interviews with the directors, the consultants realized that it was pointless to work on cohesion by itself, to conduct training on teamwork (team building) in its pure form. None of the directors was going to sabotage the joint work, everyone wanted to develop the company, and yet every serious step was hampered by disagreements. The consultants came to the conclusion: it is necessary to look for a unifying team beginning in the company's business guidelines, to help directors, acting as leaders, to set common goals and objectives for themselves. To do this, you need to conduct a joint analysis of the business situation, the company's position in the market, and only then turn to the actual "team" topic. Studying the situation in the company took two weeks, the training itself - three days.
During the training, the directors analyzed possible options for the strategic development goals of the company for three years, outlined issues for clarification and agreement with investors, having studied the development models of working teams, applied them to their management group, organizational development in the company's divisions.
Collaboration of leaders
At the end of the month, a representative of the investors noticed with surprise: the Monday planning meetings had changed, the directors began to listen to each other with interest, the negativity and constant reproaches were replaced by additions and development of different ideas, the manifestations of individual leadership began to be combined with the coordination of actions.
How to make a Command?
In this case, a group of managers went through a process of change, during which a common vision of the business situation and business tasks was formed, the perception of each other changed - top managers became a Team. But how is this result obtained? Did the specialists who came from outside succeed in re-educating people of mature age and with great experience in a short time? Or were they using ingenious methods of influence? Have you instilled the ideology of distributed leadership, close-knit teamwork?..
It is clear that there was no suggestion or gimmicks in the training, it was just that its content was based on models and tools of strategic management that are well-known in the world business practice, and the process was thought out by consultants based on the specifics of the management team. The work process was built technologically: there was an idea, a training scenario, calculated by the presenters with an accuracy of 10 minutes. And at the same time, the changes were not the result of exclusively external influences, they were obtained primarily through the actions of the participants themselves - the directors of the company, based on taking into account their interests, their needs and business guidelines.
Skill training or task work?
Analysis of the needs of the management team revealed the main current task: dialogue with investors. In order to conduct a constructive dialogue, the consultants proposed the idea of the training - competitive market analysis, strategic positioning of the company, the dynamics of the company's position in a competitive environment. After approval, this content was worked out at a working session, then, together with the CEO, the consultants assessed the first results and analyzed the needs of the management team for the next step.
Thus, leadership was developing not only as an individual behavioral skill, but also as a feature of joint work - leadership of the management team in relation to the company.
Example 2. The content of the training is change management
After preparatory work on the restructuring of a large holding, the management decided to conduct a training on change management for middle managers and a number of "second persons" of the company. The training was supposed to be a preparation for the upcoming growth of the organization, the restructuring of its marketing strategy.
The course was accompanied by a survey of the corporate culture of the company itself, the data of which was not only communicated to the participants, but subsequently "returned" to the top management to make management decisions. Of particular interest were the sections on leadership in the course of change, types of reaction to change, and resistance in the process of change.
The participants applied the organizational change management model to the analysis of a specific case, compiled a list of actions for the leader-leader to support and support the changes.
The training also included topics related to the development of individual skills, such as making strategic decisions, working in teams, the basics of leadership, etc., aimed at supporting the leadership position of leaders in the course of changes.
The work of the consultants in the given case was based on a certain technology. These were special trainings in which training is combined with the analysis of the company's problems, aimed at their formulation and development, and not as an illustration or example, as in traditional training, but directly - as it happens in the process of solving a managerial problem. The presenters included in the training material the reality of the company itself, the managers planned real actions in the context of current and future changes. The training was used as support for changes in the organization during the transition to a new level of development.
At the end of the training, the managers noted how useful the training was for them. A month later, the holding has grown significantly. Despite the fact that the volume and pace of change in the company exceeded the plans of the management, the managers coped with the situation with dignity, being leaders in the course of organizational changes. The preparation received in the training course played an important role.
The secret of the effectiveness of the training was not in the training of leadership skills per se, but in the fact that it was included in the context of change in the organization. The work on mastering managerial skills was combined with solving business problems, in which the participants were put in a proactive, leadership position.
Leadership in the context of managed change
Traditionally, training is used as a means of mastering specific skills, developing personal skills, in particular, individual leadership skills1 (See: MV Klarin Corporate training: from A to Y. M.: Delo, 2002.). If you use training in the context of organizational development, you can include its broader strategic opportunities.
This approach helps:
- develop leadership not only within the limits of individual actions, but also within the framework of the work of the management team,
- prepare the foundations for leadership in the company's actions in the market (develop plans for competitive actions),
- prepare the foundations of leadership within the framework of operational management (for example, develop and implement personnel development plans),
- lay the foundations for leadership in interaction within the company (prepare a constructive dialogue between management and investors / owners),
- carry out controlled organizational changes, etc.
Special opportunities for leadership development in the context of organizational development are associated with the fact that leadership is identified with a substantive business basis. Leadership can and should be developed not only and not so much as equipping managers with knowledge and skills, but primarily as a tool for controlled changes in the company. These changes should result in tangible business results: business development and effective management by the management team.
Business magazine BizKiev.com