Next Step – Upper Management




For those of you who are looking for that next step, I came across an awesome article that I think can even be applied to those who simply want to be seen as leaders and not necessarily have a desire to be Veep’s.

I’m going to paraphrase the parts I enjoyed most, but everyone should read the Step Up. Stop Doing What’s Made You Successful.

1. “In a small team there isn’t much need for formal communication. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing. You talk every day. Formal communication seems wasteful, even bureaucratic. But, as a leader, communication means leverage. Because you can’t talk to everyone everyday, you need more structured communication. Also, your increased scope means that more people care about what your team is doing. You have a larger and more diverse audience. These people don’t understand as much about what you do, so the content of your communication needs to shift (less about activities, more about results and roadmap).

2. “Many front-line managers earn their first management promotion because they excelled at the job. They are subject matter experts and good coaches. This can lead to a habit of managing activity rather than results.

As a next-level leader you need to shift your focus away from the activity and towards the results that your team is producing. Leave it to your managers to figure out how to get the results (assuming they do so with integrity!). Ask questions and offer advice but don’t dictate. You should examine the details when the results don’t materialize.”

3. “Leaders have vision–a “true north” for their organization. Of course you’re not the company’s founder or CEO, so your vision is going to be smaller in scope and may feel less…well…visionary. That’s okay, you still need to have one. Your team needs aspirations. You need to be heading in a clear direction.”

4. “You need to break some of those old habits so you can create new ones.

How? One recommendation is to remove all recurring meetings from your calendar and start fresh fresh. The demands for your time will increase significantly and you could be dragged into a huge number of meetings, so block time on your calendar for working & thinking. Block time to write formal communications. And eat lunch. And exercise. Schedule skip-level meetings with individual contributors. Plan an offsite for your team.”

Do you agree with these tips?  I know I would love to clear my calendar and just strategize but unfortunately that’s not always possible due to deadlines and general bandwidth of a “do more with less…people” situation.



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