Guest contributions:

04.22.13  Uncommon Leadership 

04.02.15  Switch and Shift  

05.13.15  Better Practice Team Performance

05.29.15  Better Practice Team Performance

07.08.15  Switch and Shift 

07.14.15  Better Practice Team Performance

10.05.15  Switch and Shift 

Stacey's Reading List...


"Tribe of Mentors" by Timothy Ferriss

"Shortcut" by John Pollack 

"Seeing What Others Don't" by Gary Klein

"Several Short Sentences About Writing" by Verlyn Klinkenborg

"The Birkman Method - Your Personality at Work" by Sharon Birkman Fink and Stephanie Capparell

"Creative Intelligence" by Bruce Nussbaum 

"Improv Wisdom" by Patricia Ryan Madson

"Training To Imagine" by Kat Koppett

"Quiet" by Susan Cain

"Where Good Ideas Come From" by Steven Johnson

"A Whole New Mind" by Daniel H. Pink

"Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman 

"Rework" by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson  

"The Leadership Pipeline" by Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, James Noel  

"Life:  Selected Quotations" by Paulo Coelho 

"Deep Change" by Robert Quinn

"The Power of Full Engagement" by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz  

"The Way of the Shepherd" by Dr. Kevin Leman and William Pentak  

"Developing the Leader Within You" by John Maxwell  

"Mr. Peabody's Apples" by Madonna

"Orbiting the Giant Hairball" by Gordon MacKenzie




blog archive

Navigating Leadership Transitions in the Business World

I once read that people are either “going into a crisis, coming out of a crisis, or are in the middle of a crisis.”  If that is true, then throughout our entire lives, we will continually be in some state of transition…constantly moving from an old reality, through a current reality, and finally into the new reality.  And if we are paying attention, then we are learning something about ourselves as we move through these stages.  

Similar transitions also occur within the leadership realm, and I tend to refer to them as Self, Others, and Thought.  They are the passages, if you will, that leaders move through as they mature personally, as they gain business acumen, and as they development higher level thinking.  A cautionary note:  skipping levels, or moving too fast between the levels, will not serve a leader well.  For the most effective leadership, it is important to understand the skill sets required at each level, and to have an appreciation for those skills.  

A model to illustrate skill sets by level:

Now a snapshot of what each level might sound like:

Self leadership  This is where you begin to understand who you are, what you believe in, and how you view the world.  You develop philosophies about self-leadership, and you make mental notes about how you’d lead others, given the chance.  You develop a strong moral compass and become respected by others.  You master a number of foundational skills.  You are promoted because you are an exceptional “doer”.   

Others leadership  This is where it’s no longer “all about you”.  Now it’s about getting things done through other people.  You formalize and articulate your personal leadership philosophy.  You are responsible for people engagement on a larger platform, as well as growing the next generation of leaders. Relationships take on a broader definition, and collaboration replaces teamwork.  These new experiences have given you great perspective.  You value the journey. 

Thought leadership  At the highest level, you begin to think about the legacy that you will leave behind.  In a compelling and inspirational voice, you begin to share “teachable moments”.  Your world is vast and complex, and many decisions come with societal implications.  You leverage strategic alignments.  You have aged gracefully and wisdom has served you well.  This has been transformational work. 

While the language I selected would indicate a slant towards the business sector, these same types of transitions occur in other realms of leadership (think sports, entertainment, science, academia).  You simply reframe using a different storyline and different vocabulary. 

Successful [Self | Others | Thought] transitions largely depend upon how you spend your time and what you think about.  Each stage or transition provides you with an opportunity to think through some key questions, and often times it’s helpful to examine them in a Keep / Stop / Start format.

Keep:  What works well for me regardless of the level…?  What do I keep doing?

Stop:  What is no longer required of me (or it is still required of me just done differently) as I leave the previous level and move to the next level…?   What do I stop doing? (or tweak)

Start:  What does this new level require of me that perhaps I’ve not had to consider before…?  What do I start doing?

Basically the Keep / Stop / Start exercise is to help you frame your new reality.  There will be exceptional personal attributes that you will want to leverage at every single stage of your leadership journey.  Do more of those things that absolutely work for you.  On the flipside, do less of those things that don’t set you up for success – often times referred to as derailers.  Work to eliminate those things that don’t showcase your true potential.  And finally, think strategically about what to add to your portfolio….what will put you in the place of most potential.  

Transitions are simply part of the leadership journey.  Think of them as a camera:  focus on what’s important, capture what works, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t turn out, just take another shot.     

Enjoy the journey….

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    Navigating Leadership Transitions in the Business World - blog - masononleadership

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