Does Your Leadership Style Create Extraordinary People? : Many people claim that they deserve to be in leadership positions. In an organization, the top leaders are part of the C-Suite. They are Chief Executive Officer – CEO, Chief Financial Officer – CFO, Chief Operating Officer – COO, Chief Technology Officer – CTO, etc.
The CEO is the chief of the chiefs and the others report to him. In many large companies, there is a board of directors. The board hires and fires the CEO. This is the top leader of any company. They make policies, allocate resources and develop strategies to carry out the company’s mission.
To reach C-Suite, you need to have a certain mindset. This is a mindset that most don’t have. There are two things most people don’t understand about C-Suite. However, they still believe that they can function at this level. Therein lies the dilemma.
The first thing is the idea or image of being a leader. Most people believe that leaders exist to tell others what to do. If you tell your people what to do, you’re either a bad leader or you’re hiring the wrong people. Either way it is the result of his leadership skills or lack of it. Steve Jobs said the best. “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Bob Weissman, former CEO of Dun & Bradstreet says people should know how to do 90%-95% of their work without your support. 5%-10% they need support from the CEO or boss.
The second challenge is a much bigger obstacle for those seeking leadership positions. The challenge revolves around the need to be constantly engaged in abstract thinking. Leadership is where the possibilities come to life. It likely started as an abstract idea or vision by the CEO. It was the job of the C-Suite members to turn that possibility into reality. Think of John F. Kennedy’s vision of sending humans to the moon before the end of the decade. He did not explain how it would look or how it would be achieved. It is another leader’s job to do that. Kennedy provided resources and was involved in strategies to achieve the vision.
Many people become uncomfortable with abstract ideas. They call it theory. And they demand the focus of the conversation on concrete reality. With such a mindset, it would be difficult to survive in C-Suite.
If you believe that your job is to tell people what to do, you are most likely a micromanager. Micro manager does not maintain high performance. The top players leave. Maybe microexecutives manage because they are not capable of abstract thinking. They get into the grass because the weeds are concrete. Thinking at a high level is visionary. As a visionary, you need to know which people to hire so they can turn your vision into the desired product or service.
If these two ideas make you uncomfortable and you still want to be a leader, it may be time to hire an executive coach. A great coach will help you let go of the belief system that is sabotaging your future as a leader. If you’ve been sabotaging your business, get a coach right away. No Olympic athlete could compete without him. Why should you?