Blog

So, you want to be a leader? Find out how to transition successfully into a leadership role!

02A15HS9When my coaching clients come to me and say that they want to be a leader. I automatically start to explore the driver for this desire. What actually do they mean by ‘leader’? Is it power to make decision for others, or have authority over others? Is it a title (noun) or a change agent (an adjective) they seek? Or is it just a trend – to be successful you must be a leader?

In the exploration with my clients on this topic I also did some research on the term ‘leader’, ‘executive’ and ‘manager’, producing interesting results. There is no simple descriptor for each of these titles. Therein lies the challenge, or possibly the reason for the confusion. Whilst we speak of leaders do we mean their title/responsibility or do we mean the act of leading (adjective).

Leadership is often misunderstood as being the same as management. Leaders in an organisation need to be able to set strategy for their team/organisation. These roles are there to motivate others and create the organisational culture. Whereas Managers have functional responsibility such as completing a technical task or managing a budget. They may have a team reporting to them who follow instructions set by the manager, who follows the organisational culture.

An Executive role is usually another term for a leadership role or a management role. Executives can be in several roles in an organisation and every organisation tends to have their own language on the hierarchy. Using names like Director, Associates, Senior… etc.

No wonder, the constant demand for new leaders is not satisfied as we are unclear on what we want these ‘leaders’ to do.

If you are seeking a leadership role I suggest that you qualify what you want to achieve as the leader/manager/executive and make sure it agrees with the hiring organisation’s definition before embarking on the role. That way you will be defining your role consistent with the expectations of the organisation.

For those looking to transition into a leadership or executive role, Diversitas offer a comprehensive worksheet to help you define your personal style and create your strategy.

Transitioning to a Leadership_Exercise

Author:
Sue Daniels is a Director of a Career Consulting business and has extensive experience of designing innovative career development programs in the university sector at Melbourne Business School and for the London Business School.  Sue has served seven years on a not for profit board and has a background in international investment management.

Working & Living Authentically

02h48282

If you are at the stage where you are looking to re-assess your life and or career, this is a wonderful post on LinkedIn, The 5 Biggest Regrets People Have Before They Die  

While the title sounds somewhat morbid, it is actually a poignant article based on the experience of someone caring for terminally ill people.  They recount the regrets that people have about various aspects of their lives – be it relationships, love, leisure, work……

Interestingly, it also looks at all those things that hold people back from doing what they really wanted to be doing with their lives– which is often sadly the expectations and opinions of others!

The article serves to force us to reflect on what is truly important to us, and how we want to live our lives.

How do you truly want to live 2017 and beyond? Is it time to chart your own course?

Geert Hofstede – a great workplace & culture resource

Young man working on laptop at home

The Geert Hofstede site offers a wonderful source of information for people who are interested in understanding different cultures in the workplace and/ or for those who work internationally.  It is also a wonderful place to learn more about the Australian culture. You can even compare countries in different core areas. For example Australia is a very Masculine culture, in contrast to Sweden which is considered a feminine culture. Visit the Tools area of the site to compare countries and learn more about culture and strategy.

Masculinity 

Australia scores 61 on this dimension and is considered a “Masculine” society.  Behavior in school, work, and play are based on the shared values that people should “strive to be the best they can be” and that “the winner takes all”. Australians are proud of their successes and achievements in life, and it offers a basis for hiring and promotion decisions in the workplace. Conflicts are resolved at the individual level and the goal is to win.

Sweden scores 5 on this dimension and is therefore a Feminine society. In Feminine countries it is important to keep the life/work balance and you make sure that all are included. An effective manager is supportive to his/her people, and decision making is achieved through involvement. Managers strive for consensus and people value equality, solidarity and quality in their working lives. Conflicts are resolved by compromise and negotiation and Swedes are known for their long discussions until consensus has been reached. Incentives such as free time and flexible work hours and place are favoured. The whole culture is based around ‘lagom’, which means something like not too much, not too little, not too noticeable, everything in moderation. Lagom ensures that everybody has enough and nobody goes without. Lagom is enforced in society by “Jante Law” which should keep people “in place” at all times. It is a fictional law and a Scandinavian concept which counsels people not to boast or try to lift themselves above others. 

.