According to a recent Zapier survey, 62% of Millennial workers have direct reports. What’s more, a Future Workplace study shows that not only are Millennials managing their Millennial and Gen-Z peers, they’re also managing Gen-X and Baby Boomer professionals. If you’re among the growing cohort of emerging leaders, chances are, you’re finding that your hard work does not automatically equate to a move up the proverbial leadership ladder.
The good news is that there are some overarching concepts that are key to leadership success that you can use to condition yourself as an emerging leader. Here are two practices that you can build into your leadership toolkit today that will not only serve you, but will benefit your team and your current and future employers for years to come.
1. Know yourself. Before you can effectively lead others, you need to spend time thinking about things like how you are wired, why you’re here, and what you bring to the table. In Leading at a Higher Level, Ken Blanchard suggests that leaders need to clarify their own leadership point of view (LPOV). Doing so will give your team the benefit of understanding where you are coming from, but they’ll also be clear on what you expect from them and what they can expect from you.
It takes time to develop your LPOV. But, doing so gives you the ability to do some self-archeology and anthropology. It allows you to connect the dots of where you come from and why you hold strong beliefs about certain things at work. Your LPOV will be better if you share your first draft with someone who knows you well and who you trust to give you honest feedback. You can find step-by-step instructions and sample LPOV’s in Leading at a Higher Level. Here’s a sample LPOV shared by Kirsten Hund, Leadership Program Director for The Holdsworth Center in Austin, Texas.
2. Develop enterprise thinking. When you land your first office job, chances are you get trained (formally or informally) on your role within the department and an assortment of technology tools to function within your role. If you get a promotion, you’ll gain exposure and access to a wider span of responsibilities. When you make the first order shift – from Role 1 to Higher Role 2 – you’ll get a better understanding of the dependencies that roles and departments have on one another, and your awareness of the annual organizational cadence increases. These are the seeds of enterprise thinking.
Enterprise thinking focuses on the way that the organization’s constituent parts interrelate and how the departments, processes, and operating systems work together. Five Ways to Develop an Enterprise Mindset offers an excellent example of how to make the seismic shift to grow as an enterprise thinker.
Knowing yourself (self-awareness) and developing enterprise thinking (others/systems awareness) are powerful counterparts that will serve you well as you move along the leadership continuum.
Question: What are some ways to take charge of building your leadership acumen?
Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, subscribe to receive CEE News!