In this President's Letter Louis explores the question:
If you identify your unique abilities and discover how to leverage the talents that make you a passionate, dynamic leader will it maximize your success?
President, JB Homer Associates
The Leadership Bell Curve: Where Do You Belong On It?
by Louis Gerzofsky
Technology Recruiting & Executive Coaching
"A leader is best when people barely know he exists,
when his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
they will say: we did it ourselves."
Ask yourself the following questions: Are you more of a leader or more of a manager? Under what set of circumstances are you more likely to lean in one or the other direction?
At JB Homer, we are big believers in the very simple concept of 'unique abilities': Great executives know what they're best at and most passionate about and then surround themselves with a team that balances their unique abilities with skills and passions different from their own.
Sometimes, however, events and their attendant stresses knock even the best executives and their teams out of balance: They manage or over manage when they should be persuading and leading or they adopt a laissez faire attitude when they should be 'getting into the weeds.'
How can you and your team enact a course correction when you're zigging when you should be zagging?
Do you possess a written evaluation of your unique abilities? Do you know -- other than by observation -- the unique abilities of your direct reports?
As your organization's leader, it isn't enough to know the core competences of each member of your executive team. You should be well aware of which tasks they will eagerly reach towards and which ones they will avoid. When a big event hits your company -- acquisition, big leap in sales, sudden appearance of a new competitor -- you and your team are more likely to revert to your default managerial settings.
How does a good executive make the transformation to an excellent executive?
- By conducting a thorough self-analysis of both your own as well as your team's unique abilities.
- By truly understanding your respective passions.
- By maintaining a written record that you can refer to during a particularly stressful episode in your organization so that you'll have at your disposal a 'field guide' that will help remind you -- especially when time is short and the deadlines are looming -- how best to allocate and reallocate your collective talents so that you and your team can meet and exceed your goals, even during the most stressful of times.
Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself.
When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.
I would be very interested in learning about your team building experiences and how you and they navigated through stressful or even critical junctures in your company.