Leading Through Systems
For many leaders that move up in an organization, their quality of impact on others and their work decreases as they advance. That is because they excelled at leading at lower levels where they could see their people every day and were probably very hands-on. Now they are in a situation where they lead without that personal and hands-on touch that they enjoyed so much.
As you advance in your career, your leadership becomes more and more remote. It can range from not seeing everyone in the building that reports to you because of schedules; all the way to having employees spread out across the globe. Your growth in leadership means that you need to conquer remote leadership in order to stay successful.
Learn to master the flow of your organization
Every business or group should have a formal organization; it’s the one on the organizational chart. The path typically looks straightforward. Each business also has an informal organization. It’s much more zigzagged and complex. You’ll find gatekeepers, influencers, expediters, and stoppers here. For most people, the best path to getting something done or going somewhere is rarely a straight line.
Learn your informal organization’s superhighway to help you get things accomplished. It’s highly likely that you do not see these people on a regular basis, so make the most of every interaction that you have with these people. Master the informal organization and then show others how to.
Leading in your absence is a true test of your leadership
It’s impossible to do everything, no matter how hard you try. You’ll need to work on clear concise communication skills in order to get your vision across to everyone. Successful leaders also build a good system of expectations with their teams. They are highly involved in setting parameters, exceptions, and what they want to be included on. They make it very clear what requires their involvement and what does not. Help your teams when they need it, but don’t spoon-feed them every solution. If you do, they may end up delegating up their problems instead of taking care of them themselves.
It’s important to be accessible to your people if you are not in physical contact with them on a daily basis. They must feel like they can contact you no matter the hour if needed. Is the idea of being on call 24 hrs a day fun? Not really, but if your team is empowered and boundaries established, they will only contact you in off hours if it’s an emergency.
Build the right systems into your leadership and you will do a great job leading as you grow your organization.
Make a better tomorrow.