A few years ago I co-authored a leadership book, developed by four Authors with over 30 years of leadership experience. It is based on two books: Navigate Executive Leadership Part 1 and Part 2 by C.V Kroll, J. Williams, R. Dogra and J. Malpass.
Reflecting back on the contents and structure, it still remain relevant today and wanted to provide a synopsis.
This book consists of practical tools to implement and an opportunity to apply and then reflect on learning. It is based on sixteen modules that guides individuals, regardless of background and industry towards the transition of becoming a leader and developing leadership competencies.
The aim is not to provide a step by step guide towards leadership, but allow you to focus on your leadership journey and focus on the areas that help in enhancing your leadership transition and development.
An overview of each module is shown below
Because of the many aspects and complexity of the path to Executive Leadership, via our selected strategies with specific goals, a sound travel plan is essential, both for us personally and for our organisation.
- Planning your transition to leadership
- Assessing and adapting your route
- Developing leadership goals and outcomes
- Identifying the time frame for the journey
The most successful Leaders share certain qualities – they knew themselves well; they believed in lifelong learning; they wanted to be the best they could be; Identify and utilize all the resources you need to become a Leader.
- Being an authentic leader
- Building insight and self-knowledge
- Developing leadership competencies
Understand the organisation
Leaders at every level of the organisation must understand not just what the organisation’s is, but how it works, and how to leverage its people, resources, structures, and processes – both at the micro and macro levels.
- understanding the technical and social context
- Identifying what drives success
- The need of knowing where one is really the best
- Building passion
An organization can spend considerable time shaping the strategic intent based on their current mission (where they are) and future aspirational vision (where they want to be). Moreover, it will ultimately impact its allocation of resources and investments. The same can be applied to the Leader
- Developing your personal vision
- Articulate your values and mission
- Communicate for buy-in
- Linking your vision with the organization
Balance is a range of things equally distributed. – the tightrope walker, the rope, balancing pole and the focus. In other words, the goal we are striving for and the factors that shape the journey; where all factors become inputs into delivering the Leadership result
- Be a hero, inspire and help create and nurture other heroes
- Understand your organisation and the context in which it operates
- Take a holistic view
- Create a balance sheet
- Refer to the plan. Live, breathe and adapt where necessary
Planning, at any level, whether for us personally or for our organization, cannot be effective nor efficient without an overarching strategy or interrelated portfolio of strategies that are relevant to the circumstances at hand
- Crafting a process for strategy development
- Learning what to do, what not to so and what to stop doing
- Implementing and adjusting to changing environments
Successful Leaders learn that there is a shift in gear from developing and refining their soft skills to an increased emphasis on who they know, and the ability to build and develop connections with others. These collectively become a network that is actively leveraged at the individual and group-wide levels
- Creating win-wins for each connection
- Continual proactive influencing for authentic partnerships
- Sharing knowledge with your community
Trust is not a tangible thing in the practical sense of the word. Just like time, it is a concept that is vital to understand and manage if we are to be effective. Trust starts with trusting ourselves.
- The road to building and maintaining trust
- Creating a high-trust organization
- Demonstrating reliability
Change is inevitable. We can help shape it by leading strategies, and we can chart detailed courses of action by planning journeys. We can ease the path of change for others affected by it by having an effective vision. But these are not sufficient. We must ensure that the changes undertaken are done so in ways that facilitate versus hamper their success.
- Recognizing the need for proactive change
- Avoiding change just for change sake
- Recognizing reasons people resist change
- Building your tool kit to reduce resistance to change
- Developing a change management process
Communication is at the heart of everything we do and deliver, whether it is setting a vision, building and maintaining trust or shaping our personal brand. It influences everything that we represent and being an effective communicator is a key function that a Leader must master.
- Creating engagement
- Mastering Management By Walking About (MBWA)
- Communicating through tools
The role of the Executive Leader was to create the strategic mandate, shape the environment and let the teams get on with it by standing out of their way and letting them innovate. They act as a catalyzer allowing innovation to flourish to allow the organization to adapt to change.
- Innovating to provide value add
- Shaping the organization through innovation
- The role of the leader in creating an innovative culture
Passion whether personal or organisational unites and engages people both inside and out. When they deal with your people they want to know that a person is passionate about serving, adding value and creating a lasting experience based on the brand promise.
- How to harness and manage my passion for the highest purpose
- Identifying the passion with the team
- Inspiring others to be passionate
Create the right environment, with the best ingredients and people will grow. Not only will they grow, they will thrive. The right environment will have some very basic elements, such as mutual trust, respect, being able to communicate honestly and being supported to be the best that you can be. After that thriving will depend upon the nature of your organisation, its values, beliefs, culture and the universe your organisation finds itself in.
- Thriving or surviving
- Position on the leadership life-cycle
- Finding greatness in yourself
- Acknowledging greatness in others
- Seeking challenge and offering opportunity
If you are to be effective as Leader, you must learn how to address politics proactively (as is also part of the ‘science of good sense’), to manage the politics ethically to smooth your journey rather than exploit it aggressively. If you do not, then those that you desire to lead will become disillusioned and your desired leadership will hence be ineffective.
- Perceptions of organisational politics
- Building alliances and networks
- Contributing to constructive politics
Whilst individual and team performance is, in the main, a well-understood concept in most modern organisations, it is essential that Leaders develop an in-depth understanding of the performance of their organisation, and of the factors that drive performance within it.
- Ensuring best practice in managing the performance of people
- Building an effective performance measurement system
- Driving the performance of the Executive Leadership team
- Driving your personal performance as an Executive Leader
A brand is, at its most fundamental, something which distinguishes a person, product, service or an organisation; it has an identity. It is much more complex because it is a promise of an experience that is personal in nature depending upon the perspective of the person having the experience. Personal and leadership branding are similar in philosophy to organisational branding, except people’s reputations are being managed, and you are trying to find ways to establish and demonstrate personal and leadership competitive advantage.
- Understand branding and brands
- Know your own brand values
- Be aligned to the organisation’s brand values
- Live the leadership brand