Change Implementation Techniques for Forming Transitional Team, Creating Alignment, Maximizing Connectedness and Creativity

Technique 7.3 Becoming an Inside-Outside Leader

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If you want to become a company leader - and especially if you want to be an inside-outside CEO - you need to manage your own development from the start. These questions can help you keep the big picture in mind.

At recruitment

i) Why are you being hired? Is it just for a job today, or is there a career path?

ii) Is this a company where talented people stay for many years? If not, will the experience it provides make you attractive to future employers?

iii) How will the company help you grow? What pattern of assignments will you get? Will you have time to learn?

iv) What kind of mentoring will you receive?

v) What kind of training is offered? What is done in-house? What is done through outside programs?

vi) How soon can you run a business? If you don't get general management responsibility early, you can't learn the job.

vii) Is this a cookie-cutter program, or are young people given the chance to try out new ideas?

Now that you're on the job

i) Do you meet your numbers?

ii) Do you help others? Are you developing their talent?

iii) What do you do for your peers? Are you just their in-house competitor?

iv) When you manage up, do you bring problems - or problems with possible solutions?

v) Are you transparent? Managers who get a reputation for spinning events gradually lose the trust of peers and superiors.

vi) Are you developing a group of senior manager friends who know you and are willing to back your original ideas with resources?

Developing yourself

i) Is your network expanding outside your division? What about outside the company? Have you visited with customers, vendors, and related organizations? If you have a union, have you ever talked with its leaders?

ii) Do you know individuals in your community who aren't businesspeople? You can learn more about what you don't know from them than from people just like you.

iii) Do you attend seminars or expand your general knowledge beyond your immediate business?

iv) Are you involved with the community in some way? You can develop many leadership skills by working with an outside organization.

Living a balanced life

i) Are you there for your family? Managing can be lonely - support of family can be invaluable.

ii) Have you cultivated a relationship with someone - spouse, close friend, mentor - who tells you the truths you don't want to hear? The higher you rise in your organization, the more your colleagues will tell you what they think you want to hear.

(source: Joseph L. Bower, 2007)

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