What should leaders be focusing on? It’s a great question and sometimes one that is difficult to answer. As we know leaders have to take on a whole host of roles. So what is on my top 6 list of roles?
Every individual, team and organisation wants to know where they are heading. As a leader you need to be able to provide that overall direction of travel for people.
Of course that is not always as easy as it sounds. In truth you will have a rough idea and in reality you are only going to be in the role for so long. For that reason, try to set out what you hope to achieve over a fairly short time frame rather than worrying too much about the longer term.
All leaders recognise that no matter how good they are individually, they can only achieve so much working in isolation.
The biggest challenge many leaders face is gaining the support of a wide and varied range of stakeholders who tend to see things through their own perspective.
What I have found is that if you are going to gain support you have to focus your attention on the critical mass. It might be tempting to think that you need to get everyone on board. In reality there will always be a proportion who will be difficult or almost impossible to get on board.
Moving Things Forward
One major distinction between leaders and managers is that the former should focus primarily on moving things forward.
Again this is easy to say and the pressure to make the right choices, often with incomplete information should not be underestimated.
Whether it is fair or not, at the end of the day leaders are judged on results. Even when they do this there are always another set of challenges to be overcome.
Bringing Out The Best In Others
Some surveys suggest that as many as 50% of employees are turning up and going through the motions at work. Given that in most organisations, people play a huge role in the results this is a real concern for leaders.
How you treat people, support and encourage others makes a big impact on the levels of engagement and the willingness of others to push the boundaries and take on new challenges.
When you make decisions you can be sure that you will get some of them wrong. This will of course open you to some criticism.
On the other hand people prefer you to take decisions rather than sit on the fence or procrastinate.
Duncan Brodie helps accountants and professionals achieve more career success. He invites you to sign up for his free leadership e-course here.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.