In 2 decades of my corporate career I have essentially seen the following category of Successful Leaders:
- There are leaders who think they have done it all and have reached an apex in their job/career. Such leaders may not want any more improvement or feedback for improvement, as they are the ones who now guide others..
- Then there are those who think they have reached a limit in their career beyond which there is no scope of growth. These are the ones who think they have consumed their full potential/scope.
- Then there are Successful leaders who frequently assess themselves, relish feedback, challenge their limits and make a sustained effort to change, continuously. Such leaders, even at the pinnacle of their careers, become more and more effective and successful.
So which category do you fall in? Do you fall in the category of successful leaders who would like to consistently change and grow? or are you the one who do not see any further growth for yourself?
If you fall in the category of leaders who think there is 'no limit' to Leadership Effectiveness, then sky is the limit...for not just your effectiveness as a leader but also as an individual.
A sure shot way to greater success, for yourself, your team and your organisation, is to encourage 'frequent feedback and feedforward' from the people you work with and who impact your performance on a daily basis i.e. your peers, direct reports and your manager or the board members. These are truly your stakeholders!
Your attitude and behavior impacts your stakeholders' & your organisation's success and their resultant response impacts your effectiveness as a leader!
To be able to take the next steps towards leadership effectiveness in your organisation, it is crucial to not only initiate a practice of feedback but most importantly, to also make a systematic, transparent and a structured action plan, to initiate change.
In Marshall Goldsmith's words: "The major challenge faced by executives today is NOT understanding the practice of leadership, BUT - practicing their understanding of leadership".
So how effective are you in 'practicing your understanding' of success and effectiveness? Click on this link for a quick self-assessment.
To initiate and make change possible, following is not only a requirement but a necessity:
- To start with you must know 1-2 specific behaviors that are important for your leadership growth e.g. decision making, listening, delegation etc. (Click here to see more leadership effectiveness areas)
- Your intentions and efforts to change must be known to your stakeholders. Unless the intent is collectively understood, unless your colleagues are involved and aligned to your plan, it can be a long and not-so-productive exercise.
- And last but not the least, how would you know that you are progressing? How would you know that the efforts you are making to improve are really helping you grow and are also recognised by others? Obviously, the process must be measurable.
So how to address this?
When you are already successful and want to push the boundaries further, you need constant 1on1 support. What you need is an experienced and trained person who can coach you, guide you, support you and keep you accountable, through a well structured, proven and guaranteed process. Well, to address all the above requirements, you need 1on1 'Coaching' and 9 to 12 months of coaching usually makes a lasting impact.
The Coaching process helps change people's attitudes and behaviors by bridging the gap between KNOWING and DOING. It creates accountability in the person being coached to take concrete action towards a sustained and positive change, which not only impacts the leader but also the entire organisation's growth
Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching approach (MGSCC) is one such proven, world renowned method, that encompasses all the points mentioned above. I can say this with conviction, primarily because I have personally seen its sure-shot results and its strong impact on leaders.
Sometimes, top executives may think that they have reached the pinnacle of their career and there is no scope of further improvement, but here's what Alan Mulally - Ex CEO Ford Motor Company, said about Stakeholder Centered Coaching - "We were a very successful team who took our performance to the next level. With Marshall's help we identified our two areas and went to work. We used everyone's help and support, exceeded our improvement expectations and had fun! A team's dedication to continuous improvement combined with Marshall's proven process ROCKS!"
So not just the top CEO's, the Stakeholder Centered Approach works for leaders at all levels, in a big multinational organisation or a small family run business, alike.
Results from 11,000 business leaders in 8 multinational companies on 4 continents.
Source: 'Leadership is a contact sports' (Strategy & Business)
The Stakeholder Centered Coaching has a strong emphasis on implementation and follow through. As Marshall puts it: "Coaching is simple but not easy!"
One of the many reasons for its simplicity is that Stakeholder Centered Coaching does not require any 'extra valuable time' from busy business executives as the coaching and leadership change-process is integrated in his/her leadership role on the job.