In his book The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success, Scott Eblin considers Personal Presence, Team Presence and Organisational Presence as three core traits that great modern leaders portray.
He argues that developing these core traits often requires an executive to drop certain habits and clear the path to concentrate on developing good behaviours
In the second of three articles around increasing executive presence I will consider Team Presence as an essential core competence.
Eblin considers team presence in terms of team reliance over self-reliance, defining what to do rather than telling how to do it and finally to shift from responsibility for many results toward being accountable for many results and allowing your team to share and prosper in the departments success.
So how can coaching, training and development of you as a leader enable you to develop the correct environment to deliver modern-day leadership services to your team and wider stakeholders.
Within this article I will share my thoughts and experiences around team presence and some of the methods I have been able to use to help executives enhance their ability in this area.
We presented the need to have great communications skills and the ability to listen to connect as essential as a leader in my opening article, where we considered personal presence. We also considered the ability to have and portray confidence, not in an arrogant style but from an authoritative stand point. Such confidence can be attained by being aware of your leadership responsibilities. One of which is the ability to lead and inspire your team.
We considered the role of a leader and mentioned the shift from doing things to leading. This shift does not take away the ownership of delivering on departmental or team objectives but should shift the onus from being responsible on a day to day basis for getting things done without removing the leader’s accountability for delivering on the teams’ objectives.
The leader needs to be able to create the correct conditions for objectives and service levels to be reached by their team. I often hear from my clients how difficult they find it to make this switch from responsibility to accountability and letting go of the day to day outputs that were part of their last role.
Reliance has to shift from their own shoulders and onto their team. The leader needs to be able to create the space for their team and an individual within that team to fail. This can often go against your natural inclination and yet the lessons learnt by the team member by trying and failing can often far exceed the damage the leader might do by rolling up their sleeves and taking over.
From a coaching perspective I have often supported new leaders to help let go of natural tendencies. One of the hardest things for a new senior leader to do is to stop being the “go to person”. Being the “go to person” is generally the strategy that has helped them to become a superstar within their organisation and that status has worked well in terms of getting you noticed.
This foundation of success, built on your technical ability has helped you to gain promotion and now you are in a leadership role where you need to be able to stop being the “go to person” and shift to a status of creating the space and environment for your team to be the “go to people”.
Delegations is key here and taking another slice of content from Scott Elbin as an example of good delegation methodology he introduces TRACK:
Setting goals and expectations is clearly a skill that needs to be developed and a mix of skill and mindset shift can help support the new leader to feel more comfortable with their role.
In a recent coaching intervention I have spent several sessions working with the executive to help them feel comfortable by identifying fresh KPI’s and appropriate feedback methods that will help them gain a sense of achievement that could replace the more tangible evidence they would have used to measure their past successes.
Defining tasks and building the correct team around you to help execute the tasks identified can build the confidence within the new leader to be able to let go.
This becomes the leader’s role and mastering this will support the leader to creating a space where the they can create an environment which encourages ownership, inclusion and team self-reliance.
The leader’s role shifts from “doing” and into managing the process. They should allow the team to decide how the task is to be completed thus shifting responsibility from the leader’s day to day actions without abdicating accountability of success to the organisation.
This once again is a mindset challenge, hatched from the same thought process as the egotistic challenge of letting go of being the “go to person”. Helping an executive make this shift requires the executive to be fully aware of their role and responsibilities as a senior leader.
I wonder how well your organisations have defined the task and responsibilities of your executive leaders and whether you have armed them with sufficient resources to lead your organisations various teams?
Managers can have the single largest impact on your organization. A good (or bad) manager affects employee performance and satisfaction, productivity, efficiency, turnover, and the overall health of any organization. If your company is in business to make a profit, it goes without saying that investing in training is a smart move.
A good manager needs to be able to lead their team, manage their direct reports, be able to interact with wider stakeholders both inside and outside of the organisation which in turn demands fantastic communication skills and the ability to build effective and professional relationships.
The modern manager should be able to take responsibility, step up to the challenge, be agile and be able to manage the stress that will inevitably come with the role. They need to be a professional ambassador for your organisation.
Good management doesn’t just happen. They need to be trained and then supported to perform at their best.
Take a look at some ideas we have of supporting these executives
In my next post I will consider the importance of Organisational Presence to an executive and how considering a systemic approach to leadership is essential for a modern day leader.