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The 4 Roles of Leadership – how are you doing?

One of the Leaders we work with approached me last week after one of our sessions about questioning how they're spending their time developing bench strength in the company for future managerial positions…

 That's a great question when you think about the simplicity of it because there are really only four roles a leader can play in their day to day responsibility that can impact this:

  • Supervising
  • Coaching
  • Managing
  • Mentoring

Two are clearly short term…have to be done to run an effective business…and are measurable.  The other two take time…don't really deliver a short term result…and most of the time can't even measure the result for a while.

 If you took your time in any given month and ranked where you're spending your time as a leader by drawing a  graph (i.e.: 0 – 100%) of these four activities, I bet, like most of us, you wouldn't like the result.

Supervising and Managing has to get done…sometimes it's monotonous or tedious, but we know what happens when we don't spend time on these two – there's a penalty to pay in the short term.  We can actually escape executing the other two activities, but we pay for it in the long term.  For it is that activity of reaching down into the organization to find the talent that can be developed that offers the bigger reward.  Sometimes "talent" is invisible from the "lofty" perch of a senior leader but all that person needs is visibility; a project or initiative to focus on that matters to the company, displaying their skills, and some mentoring to get them going in the right direction.

 For me, I'd rather spend some time in the short term finding that person or group of individuals to help build the future.  At some point in time I'm going to be looking internally for that person to tap, to head up an important key initiative where leading others will be a key component and I'll want some names that will be up to the challenge.

 "It's like going to the Doctor," I remark to myself…I'd rather go to one who's been at it for a while…


Ed Schultek

Founder and Managing Partner

Sandler - Peak Sales Performance

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