Leading followers has its own set of skills but leading leaders is another ballgame altogether. These are some quick points on how you are take on a leadership role in leading leaders effectively.
One, acknowledge that leading leaders is a relational matter, not a positional one; so relate to leaders! Even leaders are by themselves followers of someone, and they make choices to follow a particular leader. Leadership begins first with relationships. If people feel that they can relate to you, they are more willing to be led by you.
Two, build more personal relationships. This will mean lower quantity and higher quality. With followers, it is easier to go on a bigger scale. However, the higher the level of connection, the closer the bond needs to be. This is vital especially when leading leaders. Communication is a vital tool in building that relationship. Keep communicating to build a bond, engage on a personal level.
Three, seek to understand them. Bring them to the level of conviction in their purpose as you listen and inspire them. Leaders in their own rights are not easily driven by charisma and public appeal. However, at the level of interests, if you are able to interpret their interests, you will be able to help align their interests to the goals of the organisation.
Four, ask questions… good and right ones, that is, as part of your leadership. If you are giving answers all the time, you will end up bearing the brunt of the responsibility of direction giving and decision making, which is unhealthy. The ownership of decision making has to be delegated to other leaders that you lead.
Five, discern and structure your leadership conversations to align leaders to the overall vision. Instead of imposing vision, align people. It will take some time to gain buy-in from this course of action. But it beats trying to shove something down people’s throats and have them reject it. They may not reject it outrightly, but without the real buy-in, problems will crop up in the long-run.
All Rights Reserved, 2013
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