In 2 decades of my corporate career I have essentially seen the following category of Successful top Leaders:
There are leaders who 'feel' they have 'done it all', have reached the peak of their job/career and are totally content with status quo. Such leaders may not want any more improvement or feedback for improvement.
Then there are those who think they have reached a 'limit' in their career beyond which there is no scope of growth. These are the ones who think they have consumed their full potential/scope and do not know what to do next.
Then there are those 'Successful leaders' who have reached the peak of their careers yet frequently like to assess themselves, encourage feedback, challenge their limits and make a sustained effort to get better continuously. Such leaders because of their will to keep getting better, not just in their careers but also in their lives, become more and more effective and successful in whatever they do. They do it not just for themselves but to be able to support their team even better.
So which category do you fall in? Do you fall in the category of successful leaders who would like to consistently change and grow? or are you the one who are content with the status quo or think there is nothing more to do?
If you are a successful leader who think there is 'no limit' to Leadership Effectiveness and Growth, then sky is the limit in your career as well as in your personal growth.
A sure shot way to greater success, for yourself, your team and your organisation, is to encourage 'frequent feedback and feedforward' from the people you work with and who impact your performance on a daily basis i.e. your peers, direct reports and your manager or the board members. These are truly your stakeholders!
Feedback is the breakfast of champions - Ken Blanchard
Your attitude and behavior impacts your stakeholders' & your organisation's success and the response to you of your stakeholders, impacts your effectiveness as a leader more than you can ever imagine! Therefore it is extremely important to constantly spend time to know what they think about your working style and behaviour.
To be able to take the next steps towards leadership effectiveness in your organisation, it is crucial to not only initiate a practice of feedback but most importantly, to also make a systematic, transparent and a structured action plan, to initiate this cultural change down the line.
"The major challenge faced by executives today is NOT understanding the practice of leadership, BUT - practicing their understanding of leadership". - Marshall Goldsmith's
So how effective are you in 'practicing your understanding' of success and effectiveness?
To initiate and make change possible, following is not only a requirement but a necessity for every successful leader:
To start with, you must know 1-2 specific behaviours that are important to change for your leadership growth e.g. decision making, listening, delegation, building trust with stakeholders etc.
Your intentions and efforts to change must be known to your stakeholders. Unless the intent is collectively understood, unless your colleagues are involved and aligned to your plan, it can be a long and not-so-productive exercise. This is important because for real change to happen the change itself should be acknowledged by others.
And last but not the least, how would you know that you are progressing? How would you know that the efforts you are making to improve are really helping you grow and are also recognised by others? Obviously, the process must be measurable.
To know more about the 9 step coaching process we use as certified coaches, to impact leadership growth, click this Marshall's 9 Step process
So how to address this?
When you are already successful and want to push the boundaries further, you need constant 1on1 support. What you need is an experienced and trained person who can coach you, guide you, support you and keep you accountable, through a well structured, proven and guaranteed process. Usually 9 to 12 months of coaching usually makes a lasting impact.
The Coaching process helps change people's attitudes and behaviors by bridging the gap between KNOWING and DOING. It creates accountability in the person being coached to take concrete action towards a sustained and positive change, which not only impacts the leader but also the entire organisation's growth.
Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching approach (MGSCC) is one such proven, world renowned method, that encompasses all the points mentioned above. I can say this with conviction, primarily because I have personally seen its sure-shot results and its strong impact on leaders.
Sometimes, top executives may think that they have reached the pinnacle of their career and there is no scope of further improvement, but here's what Alan Mulally - Ex CEO Ford Motor Company, said about Stakeholder Centered Coaching - "We were a very successful team who took our performance to the next level. With Marshall's help we identified our two areas and went to work. We used everyone's help and support, exceeded our improvement expectations and had fun! A team's dedication to continuous improvement combined with Marshall's proven process ROCKS!"
So not just the top CEO's, the Stakeholder Centered Approach works for leaders at all levels, in a big multinational organisation or a small family run business, alike.
Results from 11,000 business leaders in 8 multinational companies on 4 continents.
Source: 'Leadership is a contact sports' (Strategy & Business)
The Stakeholder Centered Coaching has a strong emphasis on implementation and follow through. As Marshall puts it: "Coaching is simple but not easy!"
One of the many reasons for its simplicity is that Stakeholder Centered Coaching does not require any 'extra valuable time' from busy business executives as the coaching and leadership change-process is integrated in his/her leadership role on the job.