Top leaders in high performing businesses are people who have a wide range of experience and have developed successful business careers, management skills and abilities to a high level. That is the reason they sit where they do in their respective companies.
Often, the particular skills and abilities that have been highly developed pertain to know-how in a technical field, and what these top leaders do now simply comes as second nature to them.
This knowledge born of experience and situational maturity is not a bad thing; in fact it is extremely valuable. On the one hand, it is this know-how, combined with high enthusiasm levels that produces outstanding results in their work. It is the very quality that has taken them to where they are. On the other hand, however, this knowledge in action may be perceived as intellectual arrogance.
Intellectual arrogance exhibits itself in the language that is used to describe their dealings with others, the manner in which the job gets done and the perceived behaviors that people working with them observe in their conduct. It has the potential to put others off and upset them. Obviously, this may inhibit and constrict them from contributing their valuable insights and from sharing the information or providing the feedback that is necessary for making well-informed decisions.
The critical question for the business is how to manage this attribute in a positive way that brings other people along and ensures it does not isolate them. How does the business ensure that the technical knowledge of its top leaders and their drive to get the task done are not allowed to run roughshod over the very people responsible for the successful implementation and execution of their initiatives?
Leadership skills development within the corporate team building environment addresses this vital issue. It requires developing capabilities that bring people along with energy that is harnessed and focused and that inspires those involved, rather than debilitates them. The high energy, knowledgeable and effective manager is able to do this by building into his or her already strong repertoire the following four elements:
- Having greater self-awareness about the impact that their perceived behavior has on others.
- Listening intently and developing a mindset that absorbs information, whatever the source, and gets out of the “I know it all syndrome” that can stifle thinking and close the door on obtaining new insights from others.
- Engaging in business decision making that combines rigor of thought with taking other people’s views into account and using language that everyone can understand.
- Investing time and effort in business skills development and using tools that objectively focus on the issues at hand, as opposed to the perceived “incompetence” of subordinates or peers.
In the end, investment in these practices supports and builds on the strengths of the knowledgeable manager or leader. Building these elements into their management practice enhances their Leadership Skills Development and their already successful business careers.
Peter McLean is a highly experienced Coach, Senior Manager, Consultant, Business Owner and Company Director. He successfully coaches top Executives in some of Australia’s leading multi-national companies. One such Senior Executive recently won an International Award for Excellence within his particular field. In addition, Peter works extensively in the Public, Private, Commercial and Not-for-Profit sectors, delivering outstanding results for his clients.