Leader of What?

Congratulations, Leader. You’ve done it! You have the title you wanted, and an amazing amount of responsibilities too. Are you ready for the big shift from managing deliverables to leading people? Because that is the heart of the matter…you really are NOT the leader of the team, or the division, or the company. You are a leader of people.
Why would anyone follow you? If I asked your direct reports, what would they answer? Do they know what you expect of them? Have you told them what they can expect from you? Do they know what you value? What have you done to earn their trust?
Engendering followership is the responsibility of the leader, not the other way around. Purposefully sharing your Leadership Point of View will accelerate the process. Over the years, this blog has discussed the steps involved in crafting the LPOV, most recently last October. Beyond the LPOV steps of “how” is the “why.”
For over fourteen years, Blanchard Coaching has supported leaders in the process of crafting their LPOVs and the impact is astonishing. Reflecting on the powerful events in your life with a coach will illuminate the essence of your perspective on leadership, and help you understand yourself better. Doing the hard work of “excavating” your LPOV, and then sharing it, accelerates trust between you and the people you lead. As a new CEO told his executive team when introducing this coaching process, “There is no better way for us to build trust than to create and share our Leadership Points of View.”
Hearing the story of why honesty matters to you, or why fairness is paramount in your life, will personalize what you value and stay with your direct reports. Personal stories stick with people in ways power points never can.
Build confidence in those you lead by revealing yourself to be an intentional leader: Create and share your Leadership Point of View.

Never Underestimate the Effect of Change

I recently shared a laugh with a client – we’ll call him Jon – because as he so eloquently said, “You just can’t win.” Here’s what happened.

Jon, by profession an accountant, is head of tax for a global manufacturing company. A lovely human being, he is nevertheless analytical and cerebral, and a 360-degree feedback process revealed that his people perceived him to be cold and unapproachable.

We worked together on practicing some new behaviors: making the effort to get to know folks, stopping to say hello to people in his area – all of whom report to people who report to him.

He worked on and shared his Leadership Point of View (his beliefs about leadership and his leadership values) which his people told him made him much more accessible.

Jon was really enjoying letting people see a little more of him, he was having more fun at work, he was literally wondering what took him so long to experience this very important side of himself.

You would think this could only be good right?

I certainly did.

3D Hand Giving Thumbs DownBut, you can never underestimate the power of change, even good change, to distress someone. Not everyone was thrilled with the change. One of Jon’s direct reports, Emilia, asked for a private meeting during which she reported that she was upset with this new softer, friendlier Jon.

He was shocked – of all people he had thought she would appreciate it the most.

It turns out that she was enjoying the change for herself, but she was worried that Jon’s new accessibility was “undermining” her position with her direct reports. She was concerned that people might feel comfortable going straight to Jon instead of having to get things done through her.

Of course this presented a great coaching opportunity for Jon. But we had to laugh…I had thought in 25 years of coaching that I had heard everything, but this was a first.

Leadership Point of View

Since early May, I’ve had the honor and privilege of participating in an internal leadership program at Blanchard.  Working within the small cohort of some of Blanchard’s most brightest, talented and dedicated future leaders of our organization has been amazing!  Sadly, the program comes to end today, with a presentation to our leadership team about our personal highlights and learning from the program along with a report on the project we have been working on together.
Manager & Employee
The biggest highlight of participating in this program for me was the experience of creating my Leadership Point of View (LPOV).  I enjoyed the introspective exercise of looking at past events and people in my life that have helped shape my leadership style and how my personal values also play into that.  I feel that creating my LPOV is such a valuable tool when shared with those I lead, work with or report to, in order to enhance my working relationships and communication with others.

My Leadership Point of View is comprised of the following components: A key event in my life which was an experience I had during my first professional job, a key person in my life who became a role model for me as a Situational Leader, and how my personal values of Service to Others, Dependability, and Personal Growth is something that people I work with can expect of me and what I also expect of them.  Additionally, I gave examples of people or situations in which I had an experience of others demonstrating my own personal values.

Due to the experience I had crafting my own Leadership Point of View and the value in sharing it with others in order to enhance my working relationships, I highly encourage you to do the same.  You can create your LPOV by including the components of my LPOV that I shared above, using your own examples and values.  Also, for more detailed information on Blanchard’s Leadership Point of View program, please go to this link: http://www.kenblanchard.com/Solutions/Executive-Development/Leadership-Point-of-View