Leadership: The Realities of Being a Director

You might have believed that when you became a Director, life would get a whole lot easier.  In reality, it is quite the complete opposite.  So what are the realities of being a Director in an organisation?

Reality 1: Everyone looks to you

People and employees in particular often regard Directors as being the people in the organisation who can solve any problem.  While they can generally find a solution as a collective group, there is a real risk here.  If you allow employees to bring all of their problems to you, they will stop trying to solve their own problems and just come to you for all of the answers.

Reality 2: You become inward facing

In all the hustle and bustle and in situations where you are under pressure, it is all too easy to become inward facing.  By that I mean you start to see solving internal problems as being more important than those who use or buy your products and services.

Reality 3: You end up playing at least two roles

Maybe you imagined that when you became a Director you would be spending all of your time on strategy and driving the organisation forward.  While you will spend time on the strategic stuff, you will still find yourself heavily drawn into the day to day operational stuff.  The challenge is to find the right balance.

Reality 4: Your contribution is only valuable if someone uses it

If you are working across organisations and are from a functional discipline like Finance or Human Resources, you might have plenty of great ideas.  On the other hand you might find that CEO’s and MD’s don’t fully benefit from the contribution you make.  Maybe they feel insecure or worry that they will be shown up for not thinking of something themselves.  Aim to get your contribution heard and used to make greatest impact.

Bottom Line – To succeed as a Director and leader focus on making your contribution count and never lose sight of the external world.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 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.

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