“When I told my friends at happy hour today, I was promoting a super performer to lead a team of 8 developers, Julie asked; what makes her ready for the leadership role other than she has been a great developer?”

Reflexively I answered; “She knows the work inside and out.” Then Julie said “That’s great but does she know how to lead? I am suffering under a leader who was great producer on the team but, not prepared to lead.”

I have been thinking about that exchange ever since.

What changes when we are promoted or we promote an individual from a position on the team to leading the team?

Here is an approach to ensure you are ready for the next promotion and those you promote are ready.

I believe every position in an organization has a requirement for the knowledge, skills, and abilities in the 5 broad areas summarized below. This will be our guide to evaluate the required competencies required at different leadership levels.

  1. Leadership – the ability to create a vision and lead a team to accomplish the vision
  2. Technical Expertise – the specific technical knowledge required for a position such as; finance, engineering, programing, marketing, etc.
  3. Tactical Expertise – the application of technical expertise in the business context. Such as using accounting to analyze business performance or developing a computer application to meet a client’s needs.
  4. Business Knowledge – understanding the fundamentals of the business and industry. Such as the business cycle, raising capital, cash flows, seasonal trends, hiring nuances, and supply chain.
  5. Cultural Expertise – The ability to assimilate into a culture as well as creating and maintaining one

The Promotion to Team Leader
Ever have an experience like Julie, by a leader who lacks the skills for the position?

Often promotions are awarded based on outstanding performance as a team member. The person is a great technical producer. Which, does not automatically translate into good team leader. What are the skills required to be successful in this first leadership transition?

Typically, when transitioned to lead at this level, you still are part of the team with responsibility for some production with your teammates. The change: your performance is evaluated by the performance of the team.

If you are developing yourself or others for this level, what should you focus on in each of the 5 areas?

The most important area of development is time management. The team leader’s ability to prioritize time dedicated to leadership rather than individual production. Leading in now more important than individual production.

The other top skills to be mastered are: work assignment, motivating the team, supervising, delegation, evaluation, and holding team members accountable.

Technical Expertise
The level of expertise has not changed for the technical work.

Tactical Expertise
The application of leadership expertise is now the top priority rather than the application of technical expertise in the workplace. One must learn how to apply leadership skills in their environment.

Business Acumen
Little has changed in this area.

Cultural Expertise
Rather than simply assimilating into a team, the leader is responsible for developing and maintaining the culture. Key skills are: building and sustaining morale, building relationships, establishing and maintaining team norms, and being able to read the team.

For leaders the leap from team member to team leader is 1) understanding their work is ensuring the successful work of others and 2) prioritizing the leadership work over their individual technical work.

Think about team leaders in your organization. How well prepared are they for this first leadership transition? What would be the impact if you used the above model to develop team leaders?

At Great Transitions Strategies we work with organizations and individuals to ensure leaders are prepared to succeed at the next level. Contact us for a conversation to explore how help develop leaders.

“She is so much stronger in her team leadership than she gives herself credit. She is the one leading the team, although she is doing it pretty quietly.”

“He has no idea how he comes across.”

“If he knew what everyone else thinks about his one-on-one meetings, he would be disappointed.”

Can you relate to any of the above statements or is it possible one of the statements describe you? The common thread: the individuals are not self-aware. They do not understand their capability, how they come across, or the impact they are having on others in the workplace.

Suppose one of those statements described you, would you want to know?  How can you develop self-awareness without getting direct verbal feedback? My experience with clients is that it takes deliberate practice.

How to get the data? In working with leaders to get better at their self-awareness we work on gathering data in three areas: Values, emotions, and behaviors. A little description on each.

Values are the beliefs held by every individual that are most important. Those beliefs provide motivation, define what is right or wrong, and how one should act. The fulfillment or violation of values triggers strong emotions. We therefore feel our values with the emotion it evokes. Lastly, we all have behaviors that we adhere to and expect others to adhere to when fulfilling a value.

More simply:

Values = motivation

Emotions = how you feel about the adherence to a value

Behavior = the focus of an individual’s action and energy to fulfill a value

Motivations drive behaviors, the actions at the start of this article are being driven by the values of the individual. To build a better understanding of your behaviors, explore your values.

Let’s start. What motivates you? A typical answer is, doing things I am good at or like to do. Therefore, examine your tendencies, likes, strengths, and what makes you happy. Here are several assessments/surveys that I regularly use to help build that understanding: Strength Finders 2.0 now also known as Clifton Strengths Finders by Gallup. VIA character strengths prioritizes your character strengths. The Authentic Happiness assessment, implicit bias assessment and Angela Duckworth’s Grit Scale can be enlightening. This list just scratches the surface, a simple google search will reveal more. I also use formal assessments such as Emotional Intelligence and The Hogan Assessment suite to provide a wealth of data to an individual.

So, you took some assessments and started building your self-awareness picture. Usually this is not earth shattering but reaffirms and raises your awareness of data you already knew. Now how about building to the skills to assess yourself in real time. I call this method, “Being a spectator of yourself”. This is learning to be engaged with an individual while monitoring and assessing yourself simultaneously. The concept is simple, the execution takes some practice.

We are immersed in our own perspective, this practice has you assess yourself from other perspectives. Here is how to start. During personal interactions consider three other perspectives:

  • the person you are interacting with
  • a third party (a boss, peer, or subordinate) observing the interaction
  • a fly on the wall seeing the interaction at a distance

If you took a few seconds during an interaction to consider one or more of the above, how might it inform you? Use these three questions to assist you:

  • What is the impact I am having on this individual?
  • What would my boss/peer/direct reports see if they observed this interaction?
  • What would an individual not related to the situation observing this interaction tell me?

Using these or similar questions to evaluate others perspectives has created a mindset of analyzing one’s behavior. It has made leaders I worked with to pause, assess their motivations, get emotions in check, and be deliberate about behaviors.

Assessments, coupled with reflection, and a methodology to gain real time feedback has proven to be an invaluable tool to build self-awareness.

How might you develop and incorporate this skill into your toolbox?

Bobby feels his performance is worthy of promotion after two years in his job. Today he had a conversation with his boss during his semi-annual review and brought up the topic. His boss’s response was that he has not shown the leadership expected of one ready to be promoted.

His first thought was; Leadership, I am buried in the organization, how in the world am I supposed to show leadership? So, he asked, “what should I be doing?”. The answer was not very encouraging. She told him to do the things that leaders do and be visible.

Understandably, he left her office frustrated. His thoughts: I need more specific guidance. I don’t know what she is talking about and by the way, whatever I do will not work since I am not in charge.

It is not uncommon for me to hear such stories from clients looking to progress in their careers. The question they want to be answered is: How can I lead when I am not in charge? To that I have them address two essential questions:

  1. How am I leading myself?
  2. How am I seen as a leader today?

Leaders must be comfortable with leading themselves before becoming comfortable leading others. In reality, every leader has to answer to someone. How did they get to their position? They probably demonstrated some leadership acumen prior to promotion.

Let’s transition from Bobby to you. I propose starting by writing your definition of leadership. After all, that is what you are after isn’t it? Here is mine:

“The art of positively influencing others to unite and achieve common goals”

Here is an assessment of my definition. First, leadership is an art, not a science, everyone does it differently, using their own techniques and methods. Second, it is about influencing others. Leadership is not about standing in front and giving directions; it is about being a positive influence. Lastly, it’s uniting others to accomplish a common objective. To me the most important elements of this definition are that leadership is about influence and accomplishment, not position and accomplishment. That means anyone at any level can be a leader.

What is your definition of leadership?


What are its key elements?


Congratulations. You just created a vision for your leadership. My assumption is your definition said more about motivating, inspiring, and shaping others than about your position or authority level.

Now, assess yourself to determine a realistic view of you, the leader. What are your skills, tendencies, likes/dislikes, and strengths? Measure yourself against your definition. On a scale of 1-10 grade yourself on leading yourself.

Next, how well do you meet your definition with others? How do we determine that? We ask what is it like to be on the receiving end of your leadership. We ensure you address how well you lead yourself. For me, I ask how well I influence, unite, and achieve results when leading others. Because they are the key elements of my definition. What do you need to ask?

That is the starting point. Step two, build a leadership development plan. It includes goal setting, specific skills to develop, reading to complete, and most importantly actions to take, assess, and be accountable to.

So, how do you lead when you are not in charge?

You develop your ability to influence others and use it to be a positive force to accomplish common goals as a team.

If you lead yourself well and develop your ability to influence others, you will be on the path to being a leader regardless of your level, line worker to CEO. People may listen to authority – leaders of position however, they follow leaders who are a positive influence – leaders of voice.

Be a leader of voice – a person who influences, motivates, and inspires others.

Let’s fast forward to Bobby’s conversation with his boss in six months, it may go something like this. Over the past six months we agreed what my leadership development should look like and here are the results. My definition of leadership is this: ____________. I received feedback from every team member and worked to specifically contribute to my team in this manner: __________. The results have been ___________ and you have given me additional responsibilities. I am ready to move to the next level and continue my growth.

What can you do to create a conversation like this in your future?

“Adversity does not build character it reveals it” James Lane Allen.

“Her calm leadership under incredible pressure it what made us successful today!” You have heard a statement similar to this before and maybe said it yourself. Reflect on a leader who you are familiar with: a boss, a coach, a political leader, a coworker, who successfully deals with crisis after crisis. How do they maintain their poise and steady leadership while embroiled in a situation rife with challenges, imperfect information, and severe consequences caused by their decisions?

My premise: They are not just great crisis leaders, they are great leaders because they live by and continually practice the values required to lead under duress.

Crisis leaders are decisive, selfless, focused on the mission, the good of the organization, and its people. They communicate clearly, are trusted, and have the courage to speak and stand by their convictions. They do this all the time, not only in response to a crisis. Living and practicing those values with every interaction regardless of its magnitude builds the “crisis leader” muscles.

Core values are the foundation of our being, drive our behavior, and are what is personally most important to us. In times of crisis our personal façade is torn away and our core values are bare for everyone to see. If you feel you are unable to lead in a crisis – maybe it is time to examine how you handle your daily small predicaments. Will the values “muscles” you are exercising serve you in the next major crisis you encounter?

You cannot show up on game day and expect to win without preparation!

Take 30 seconds to jot down your thoughts on what leaders do:

Now how do they do it.


I had the unique opportunity in the early 2000’s to be part of an all United States Service Academy team to draft and edit a new edition of The Armed Forces Officer. The broad purpose of the book was to get to the essence of what it means to lead as a military officer.  More narrowly how the different cultures of each service apply those broad strokes.

Guess what? Those broad strokes apply to leadership in any forum and the focus on different cultures applies directly to the corporate, educational, and the nonprofit world very well.

What do leaders do?

Leadership is a bond of trust. If trust does not exist between the leader and the led, leadership is not happening. Here are several possibilities of what is actually going on.

  • The leader is being obeyed. They are a leader of position, not of voice. A leader of voice is an individual followed because they are a voice of leadership. Respected for their expertise and approach.
  • The leader is in front of the organization but not building or leading from a place of trust. They are akin to a person jumping in front of a parade thinking they are leading it. The route was set well before they jumped in front.
  • The leader is followed out of shear curiosity. “What will she do next? This should be entertaining!”

Leaders build trust!

As you know trust does not develop overnight. It takes time and consistency. How do they do it? By executing four very clear steps.

  • Leaders set the example
  • Leaders set and enforce the standard
  • Leaders build and sustain morale
  • Leaders exhibit moral and physical courage

A few thoughts on each element.

Set the example

Leaders who are exemplars of the expectations of subordinates build credibility. Being an exemplar does not entail doing the job of subordinates. It entails demonstrating the expectations such as; being on time for meetings, professionalism, attention to detail, treating everyone with respect, admitting mistakes, being transparent, and living by the vision, mission, and values of the organization. Credible leaders set an airtight example for others to follow.

Set and enforce the standards

Setting the standard is easy, the enforcement proves difficult for many or at least uncomfortable. Why is this so difficult? The feedback from inexperienced leaders is the accountability discussion feels like you are being mean or I don’t want to be confrontational. There is nothing mean or confrontational about it. You communicated your expectations, set performance metrics, and standards of professional behavior. You are doing your job, they are not.

The reaction from experienced leaders is that not holding individuals to the standards, only lowers the standards. Worse yet is being inconsistent with accountability. Holding one group/individual to a standard and not another erodes your credibility. Your audio must match the video, if you state you will ensure individuals meet the standard then do it and be consistent.  Otherwise you will be sowing seeds for low performance, low respect, discontent, and a cynical culture.

Set and enforce the standard and you will likely have the performance and respect you expect. Of course, how you enforce the standard has an impact. Accountability can be calm and professional.

Build and Sustain Morale

If you are the leader you own everything under your umbrella; cost, schedule, and performance. Part of performance is morale. Think of the best boss you ever worked for. What did that leader do for you and those around you? Working in an engaging environment that gets the best out of everyone is infectious and attracts talent. This does not have to be ping pong tables and happy hours. What are you doing to first, understand the current state of morale in your organization is and second, to positively build it and sustain it?

Exhibit Moral and Physical Courage

The physical courage clearly comes from the military aspects of my source however, in some lines of work it fits. Law enforcement and first responders come to mind immediately. If you lead individuals who you send into harm’s way, you better be able to do what you ask of them. You know it if it applies.

Moral courage fits every leader. But what is it? Let’s call it the ability to stand up to moral wrongs and make the hard decisions. It often feels like sticking up for the little guy, an injustice, or speaking truth to power. Some examples: calling out unethical behavior particularly the behavior of seniors, going to bat for an individual who is being treated poorly, putting a career/promotion at risk by speaking the truth, or backing an unpopular position because you believe it is right.

Put in your mind’s eye two pictures. The first, the finest example of consist morale courage in the workplace you have witnessed. How do you feel about that individual?

The second picture, the most egregious example of a moral coward. The individual who always acquiesced to the bosses’ position, rarely took a stand on issues important to the organization, and would allow other individuals to task your organization without any intervention or involvement.

Put those pictures next to each other and assess how you feel about them. Nothing more needs to be said.

Leadership is a bond of trust – without trust there is no leadership

How do you build that trust?

  • You set the example
  • You set and enforce the standard
  • You build and sustain morale
  • You exhibit physical and morale courage

On a scale of one to ten assess how you are doing in each area. Set an improvement goal and take an action to make progress. You will be rewarded with the trust and confidence of those you work with.

Did you enjoy working through this leadership tool?  Check out another leadership blog post here.

Jeremy 42 is a managing partner in a professional services firm and has been with them for 10 years. He is a steady performer doing well financially (200k+) depending on the year and settled into a niche part of the business as an expert. He is well respected by everyone in the firm and a key part of the management team. With two children, ages 9 and 7 he wants to be able to spend more time around them particularly at their sporting and school events. One goal he has is to coach soccer for his kids as he played in college. His commute is making that impossible since he spends a minimum of 2 hours a day commuting which often turns into 3 hours.

The work is not all that exciting since he has become the firm’s “expert” in a particular area. There are plenty of challenges such as meeting deadlines, creating deliverables, modifying contracts, and developing junior associates. For him work has become fairly routine. He could branch into other areas if he wanted, however, has not taken the time and effort to build an additional book of business. He has become very comfortable with his current situation.

He came to me looking for assistance in determining where to start with his search and how to go about it. Some requirements were that he had to keep his salary at the current level, reduce time on the road, have significant vacation time, and be in a position of leadership.

We started with sharpening the elements of his vision for the perfect position. He determined his desire to move was based more on family lifestyle than work. Spending time with the family became the primary driver rather than professional responsibilities. That did present some challenges as leadership roles are what commanded the salary, he was familiar with and looking for.

Examining his skill set he was very clear that business development and networking were not his strong suit. It was also clear that his expertise forced clients and colleagues to see him as one dimensional. Most of his current book of business was referred to him from previous clients or colleagues in the firm. He was capable of a broad range in his field however, his recent experience did not reflect that capability. He also wanted to keep his search confidential.


The first actions were to determine how to search what the potential market was for him. We started by having Jeremy identify potential firms and individuals that might be able to assist him in answering that question. That meant working on his networking skills. We worked on what networking was for him. He came up with a definition that translated into small meetings, presentations, coffees or lunches with colleagues. He explored other firms made connections and even applied and interviewed for several positions.

The Results

What Jeremy discovered was that changing firms would cost him significantly in salary. He was not going to be brought in as a managing partner. He would have to start as an associate and build up to partner. That was disappointing.

He also found that he was actually pretty good at networking, using his style. Renewing previous relationships, creating new ones, and building on his reputation as an expert proved beneficial. One result was that it brought some new business in his area of expertise.

He also examined going into business for himself, which after doing the research he determined would take up more time than his current situation. Nope going to hang out his own shingle.

Looking at where he was gaining traction, he made the decision to go to the management team and make a proposal. He proposed that he work from home at least two days a week with the potential for more if he cultivated clients in his geographic area. The management team accepted his proposal with a plan to implement it in increments to ensure it did not have a negative impact on business and development of junior associates.


Jeremy is working from home approximately two and a half days a week. He has improved his book of business and gained a couple of clients in the area where he lives. He has adopted a business development approach based on his networking strategy. As an assistant soccer coach, he participates with his children’s teams several times a week.

Jeremy is much happier in his current arrangement. He is still focused on his vision of being a well-paid executive with time to live the lifestyle he wanted. He did not change firms however; he did transition his career to be focused on what is most important to him. Jeremy is controlling his career.

Put these numbers to work in the organization you lead and calculate the return on investment:

  • Increase the level of fully engaged employees from 30-80%
  • Increase in profitability by 10%
  • Double your employee retention rate
  • Increase the rate of goal achievement in your employees
  • Increase sustained performance following training by 20%

A strategic focus on leadership training for your leaders coupled with coaching can have that impact.

You are thinking – no way. Let’s take a look at some of the data. Did you know that according to Gallup only one-third of all employees in the United States are fully engaged at work? That means that if I am leading 10 employees only 3 are fully engaged.

The greatest variable in that engagement – how they are led or managed. A group’s engagement level can vary up to 70% solely based on how they are led. That would change from just three individuals being engaged to 8. Pretty significant.

But does engagement create high performance and if not, what does?

Gallup discovered instilling a “high-development” culture has a significant impact on organizational performance.

What is a “high-development” culture? It is a culture that places value on the growth of individuals. Here is what they found in high development organizations:

  • 11% greater profitability from organizations that make a strategic investment in employee development.
  • Two times more likely to retain their employees
  • The opportunity for career growth is the top reason people give for changing jobs.

Earth shattering? I don’t think so, in fact it seems fairly intuitive. High achievers want you to invest in their development and will seek it out. Particularly millennials, the largest generation in the current workforce. Ninety percent of millennials when asked, list professional development and career growth as a top priority.

An interesting discovery in the research is that development does not equal promotion. Not every employee is seeking the next position. However, they want to grow based on their individual needs. Many are looking for that individual development.

Let’s draw some conclusions:

The data tells us that well-led workers are engaged and organizations with a strategic focus on developing individuals increases profitability, employee productivity and retains employees.

What does that tell? Provide leadership development to your leaders!

Give them the knowledge, skills, opportunities and feedback to grow and continually improve.

An analysis by Gallup on what is effective in developing leaders came out with three areas:

  1. Continuous multimodal support
  2. It’s integrated into the workplace
  3. It’s personalized

Intuition says individualized training programs are expensive. I think that requires deeper thought. The question that needs to be answered is: “What is the return on investment (ROI) for the training program?”

According to the Association for Talent Development for the years 2017-2018 employers spent over $1200 annually per employee on training and employees averaged approximately 33 hours. What are employers getting back for that investment?

Research in the training area has shown an increase in performance following a typical workshop or short course in the weeks after the course. Sustaining that improvement and achieving the goals set in the training. Not so much.

Retention and performance decline and head towards prior levels in about two weeks. We have all personally had that experience. We come back from a short training all excited and energized to implement our newly learned skills. Then the reality of the daily challenges sets in. A month later those goals are just a memory.

What are the results of coaching in the workplace?

Research has shown:

  • Sustained retention of the material learned
  • Sustained levels of performance greater than 20%.
  • Higher levels of achievement of performance goals when supported by coaching

I call that result in a potentially better leader.

Coaching also fulfills the areas recommended in leadership training; continuous and multimodal, integrated into the workplace, and personalized.

Leadership is the great differentiator. If you have a leadership culture in your organization you, your employees and everyone associated with your organization will benefit.

How to get started in coaching to see if it works for your leaders. Prototype a coaching initiative and measure the results. Measure the return on investment with your development dollars.

Bottom line if you want to develop your leaders using an effective methodology, coaching should be one of the tools in your development toolbox. Contact Gary Slyman, President and Founder of Great Transitions Strategies to explore how coaching can be integrated into your organization.

Develop your leadership, develop your leaders, and differentiate yourself and your organization.

You as the founder you had a great idea, built a team, obtained a patent, and have been growing the company for the past 4 years. Now you have decided it is time to exit. How do you determine the value of your company?

Simply, the value of the company is what someone will pay for it in today’s market. How do you determine that value? There are all kinds of methods to determine its value. Without getting into a lot of specifics, the capital structure (debt and equity), assets, current and future cash flow and market share define the value of your company. But is it that simple?

Switch your perspective. What would you be looking for if you were purchasing your company? Examining your company as a potential buyer what makes it valuable?

Most potential buyers are looking for a turnkey operation. If it is a merger and acquisition, the purchaser wants the company to be a profitable entity quickly. Let’s take a look at two assets that affect a company’s valuation, a patent and the leadership.

D’vorah Graeser of KISSPatent in a blog post on valuation discusses how patents are an intangible asset that increases a startup’s valuation, by potentially $1 million. Nice. Another intangible asset is the leadership team of your company. What impact does the leadership of your company with you and without you have on valuation? Some considerations follow.

How does the leadership of your company impact investors such as venture capitalists (VC’s) at the different stages of funding your company’s growth? At the early stages investors commonly see small leadership teams led primarily by the founder.

In the latter funding stages, consider the message sent to the investors if there is close to sole reliance on the founder(s) for success? Investors are working to manage their risk. A robust leadership team capable of growing the company as you gain access to more partners and bigger players, reduces risk. A savvy leadership team is required to navigate the inevitable challenges growth brings a company.

What about a potential merger and acquisition by buyers/investors looking to acquire the technology offered with your patent? What is more attractive? A team heavily reliant on the founder(s) or a well-developed leadership team supporting the founder. The latter presents a range of options; a rapid exit by the founder, operating as a subsidiary, or growth opportunities for the leadership team. All potentially increasing the value of the company.

The leadership of your company though not tangible is an asset, just as a patent. It adds significantly to a company’s valuation, particularly as you gain the attention of others in the market space. Develop and use the leadership capability of your company to reduce risk, create options, and increase your valuation.

“I went on vacation for two weeks and was called almost every day. I had to stay current with my email to keep things on track and when I got back, I was still buried.  It took two days to catch up. My greatest frustration: my group did not make any decisions other than the routine. They held all the challenging issues for me after I got back.”

Does this sound familiar?

How your organization runs when you are not there is ultimate measurement of your leadership. On a scale of 1-10 score yourself ________.

If it takes you being there to get the desired results, keep things on track, maintain key client and stakeholder relationships, are you really leading your organization? Let’s do a quick analysis.

First, you may need to solidify your definition of leadership. Most definitions have the elements of setting the vision and creating the conditions to inspire and empower others within the organization to achieve a shared goal.

What is your definition of leadership?



Now that you have your leadership definition, let’s determine the causal factors of your score. Typically, leaders who require centralized control and a hierarchy for decision making score lower. That may work fine and be a requirement for certain organizations. However, as leaders many times we hold onto more than we need to. You are ultimately accountable, everyone gets that. Does that directly translate into you being unable to leave the organization for a period of time?

Most people have an impression of the military and large corporations as top down decision-making organizations. General Stanley McChrystal in his book Team of Teams describes how he led using the concept of shared consciousness: trust built between team members and other teams based on the understanding of their shared purpose.

He regularly had to be the final decision maker on rapid response operations. That meant waking him up in the middle of the night and briefing him on details, so he could give the go-ahead for the mission. After all he was accountable, just as you are, for everything that happened in his organization.

His conclusions were that he was not adding value to the decision and was actually slowing the process and at times creating more risk. As the key person of the organization he became a limiting factor. In business terms he was adding costs to the operation.

He decentralized his organization’s decision making by creating an environment of transparency, that ensured an understanding of his intent, and the shared purpose. It took significant time and effort to educate, train, and inculcate the practice into his organizational culture.

The result: an organization that could respond quickly and decisively, making the experts on scene the decision-makers. That’s a military example, what about business. There are numerous examples, one of the most notable is what Lou Gerstner Jr. accomplished in his turnaround of IBM. He focused his intent on improving operations through a culture change. He was steadfast in pushing his culture of “customer first”, empowered his executives, and saved the company. If the largest of organizations can succeed what about your business/organization/team?

Leaders create other leaders and opportunities for them to lead. How are you developing those that work for you? How well does your team know and operate on your intent? How well do you know your intent? Make it better today.

Set the vision and create the conditions that inspire and empower your leadership team to achieve your shared goals. Then develop your leadership team through education and training to execute your intent until it becomes part of your culture. It will make your organization run as if you are there when you are not.

Have you ever felt:

  • that you may be inconsistent in how you lead
  • not sure why you lead differently depending on the situation or the people you are leading
  • you are not totally in charge of your current path and others are setting your trajectory
  • you want to be more decisive about your professional direction

The issue may be clarity, you have not made clear to yourself what is driving you or the source of your motivation. Clarity is a great gift. A gift to give yourself and those you work with.

In my coaching, I work to help you create the gift of clarity. For yourself and those you lead.

Question: Think about the clearest goal you ever set for yourself. What did that do for you?

Now think about the clearest goal a leader set for you. What did that do you for?

I bet both answers were similar and shared elements of solid direction and motivation.

Clear goals tell you where you are going, why you are going there, and when you expect to get there. That translates directly into inspiration. It is easy to generate motivation when you are well informed.

When a goal is aligned with your values and principles personally most important to you, the motivation is always positive. Achieving that goal begets a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment. When misaligned, the intensity of the motivation ebbs and flows. Uncertainty creeps in and you have thoughts such as, ‘Why am I doing this and what made me think this was a good idea?’

Now let’s go to your professional environment and reminisce about a leader who lacked clarity on how they led, set goals, and gave direction. How did that make you feel? What were the results?

Frustrated, unsure, repeating tasks, having a nagging uneasy feeling are all common. On your drive home you are thinking, ’What did I do today?’ In short, you are exhausted. They sucked the energy out of you and left you feeling like you spent the day driving on a dirt road.

Clarity on the direction you are going and why – gets you off the dirt road. Clarity, aligned with your values puts you on the highway to a known destination. You know where you are going, why you are going, and you are moving along at the fastest pace possible. That’s not saying everything will be perfect. You will experience, bumps, detours, rough weather, and occasionally have to get off and assess your progress. You will at times change your route. But, your change will be for a good reason.

Clarity and alignment are what most of us want in our lives, personal and professional.

The greatest gift you can give yourself and those you lead is clarity. Align clarity with your values and the values of those you lead and you will be rewarded with focus, hard work, and motivation.

Getting to clarity can be challenging for leaders and takes some work. It means taking the time to determine what is most important to you and setting a personal leadership direction. Clarity in how you lead will require self-exploration, gaining feedback, and changing behaviors. It requires constant effort.

In my coaching, I assist leaders to gain clarity about who they are, where they are going, and why. I have seen clarity bring significant success to those individual leaders.

Give yourself the gift of clarity in your life and how you lead.

Learn more about clarity and other ways to become a better leader in your company and business at Great Transitions YouTube Channel.