2 Skills for Developing Yourself as a Leader 3ChapterSkills for Developing Yourself as a Leader
3 Introduction Your First 90 Days as a Leader Learning From Experience Building Technical CompetenceBuilding Effective Relationships with SuperiorsBuilding Effective Relationships with PeersDevelopment Planning
4 Your First 90 Days as a Leader Figure 3.1: New Leader Onboarding Road Map
5 Before You Start: Do Your Homework Candidates should gather as much information about their potential company as they can.Some good sources of information include Web sites, annual reports, press releases, and marketing literature.Use Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, and other social networking sites to set up informational interviews with people inside the organization.
6 The First Day: You Get Only One Chance to Make a First Impression New leaders have two critical tasks to accomplish the first day on the job: meeting their new boss and meeting their new team.The first meeting with the boss should happen in the boss’s office and be about an hour long. Key topics to discuss include:Identifying the team’s key objectives, metrics, and important projectsUnderstanding the boss’s view of team strengths and weaknessesWorking through meeting schedules and communication stylesSharing plans for the day and the next several weeks
7 The First Two Weeks: Lay the Foundation The first two weeks should be filled with meeting with many people both inside and outside the team.The key objectives for these meetings are:Learning as much as possibleDeveloping relationshipsDetermining future allies
8 The First Two Weeks: Lay the Foundation (continued) One-on-one meetings with key team members should provide the leader with answers to critical questions.What is the team member working on?What are the team member’s objectives?Who are the “stars” a level or two down in the organization?What are the people issues on the team?What can the team do better?What advice do team members have for the new leader, and what can the new leader do to help team members?
9 The First Two Weeks: Lay the Foundation (continued) New leaders should schedule one-on-one meetings with all their peers to build rapport.During these meetings, the new leader should discuss the following:Their peers’ objectives, challenges, team structure, etc.Their perspectives on what the new leader’s team does well and could do betterTheir perspectives on the new leader’s team membersHow to best communicate with the bossHow issues get raised and decisions made on their boss’s team
10 The First Two Months: Strategy, Structure, and Staffing During this time period, the leader is gathering more information, determining the direction, and finalizing the appropriate structure and staffing for the team. Tasks to be performed include:Gathering benchmarking information from other organizationsMeeting with key external customers and suppliersMeeting with the former team leader, if appropriate
11 The Third Month: Communicate and Drive Change The two major events for the third month are to:Meet with the entire teamMeet off-site with direct reports (if the team is large).The new leader should have developed a vision of the future. Things to do now include:Articulating how the team will winIdentifying the what, why, and how of any needed changesDefining a clear set of expectations for team members
12 Learning From Experience Leadership practitioners can enhance the learning value of experiences by:Creating opportunities to get feedbackTaking a “10 percent stretch”Learning from othersKeeping a journal of daily leadership eventsHaving a developmental plan
13 Building Technical Competence Technical competence concerns the knowledge and repertoire of behaviors one can utilize to complete a task successfully.Followers with technical competence earn greater rewards, exert influence in their groups, and have greater say in decisions.For leaders, technical competence is related to improved managerial promotion rates, better training skills, lower rates of group conflict, and higher motivation levels among followers.
14 Building Technical Competence (continued) Both leaders and followers can improve technical competence by:Determining how the job contributes to the overall mission and success of the organizationBecoming an expert in the job through education, training, observation, and teachingSeeking opportunities to broaden experiences by working on team projects and visiting other parts of the organization
15 Building Effective Relationships with Superiors Building an effective relationship with superiors involves understanding the superior’s world by:Learning the superior’s personal and organizational objectivesRealizing that superiors do not have all the answers and have both strengths and weaknessesKeeping the superior informed about various activities in the work group or new developments or opportunities in the field
16 Building Effective Relationships with Superiors (continued) Building an effective relationship with superiors requires followers to adapt to the superior’s style by:Clarifying expectations about their role on the team, committee, or work groupListing major responsibilities and use them to guide discussions with the superior about other ways to accomplish the task and relative priorities of the tasksBeing honest and dependable
17 Building Effective Relationships with Peers Research suggests that a key requirement of leadership effectiveness is the ability to build strong alliances with others, such as peers.Building effective relationships with peers involves:Recognizing common interests and goalsUnderstanding peers’ tasks, problems, and rewardsPracticing a Theory Y attitude
18 Development PlanningDevelopmental planning is the systematic process of building knowledge and experience or changing behavior. Peterson and Hicks claim that there are 5 interrelated phases to developmental planning:Identifying development needsAnalyzing data to identify and prioritize development needsUsing prioritized development needs to create a focused and achievable development planPeriodically reviewing the plan, reflecting on learning, and modifying or updating the plan as appropriateTransferring learning to new environments
19 Conducting a GAPS Analysis The first phase in the development planning process is to conduct a GAPS (goals, abilities, perceptions, standards) analysis which involves the following steps:Identifying your career objectivesIdentifying your strengths and development needs related to your career objectivesDetermining how your abilities, skills, and behaviors are perceived by others based on 360-feedback or performance reviewsDetermining the expectations your boss or organization has for your career objectives
20 Identifying and Prioritizing Development Needs: Gaps of GAPS
21 Bridging the Gaps: Building a Development Plan There are 7 steps to developing a high impact development plan:Step 1: Career and development objectivesStep 2: Criteria for successStep 3: Action stepsStep 4: Whom to involve and reassess datesStep 5: Stretch assignmentsStep 6: ResourcesStep 7: Reflect with a partner