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Four steps to leadership

1) Assess context

a) Analyse strategic assets

  • Get your team together to assess your strategic assets.
  • Which ones give you the competitive edge? These can include cultural, intellectual, operational and market capital
  • Discuss how to preserve and build on these assets.

b) Scope external opportunities and threats

  • Get your team together to assess any opportunities or threats. These might be political, economic, social or technological.
  • Discuss how to maximise the opportunities and minimise the threats.

2) Envision the future

a) Sense emerging future

  • Let go of rigid thinking. Open your mind to new possibilities.
  • Go for open dialogue about what is, and isn’t changing.
  • Encourage everyone to notice changes in the marketplace.
  • Sense the mood in your teams.

b) Create a shared vision

  • Present a compelling reason for change
  • Get your staff deeply involved in creating a shared vision.
  • Make sure this vision:-
    - is realistic and credible
    - will attract commitment and energy
    - links to their hopes and dreams

3) Align people

a) Motivate through change

  • Avoid telling people what to do.
  • Encourage them to believe in the possibility of change.
  • Emphasise that they have choice.
  • Challenge people to be the best they can be.
  • Indicate what isn’t changing.
  • Address any fears that people have about change.

b) Be authentic

  • Be true to yourself.
  • Deliver what you promise.
  • Live your life according to your beliefs.
  • Express what you truly feel.
  • Don’t brag or put people down.
  • Empathise.

4) Show the way

a) Decide priorities

  • Think about how you typically spend your time.
  • Analyse what’s important and unimportant, and what’s urgent and non-urgent.
  • Focus on the important.
  • Spend 20% of your time on the important and non-urgent.
  • Decide what you can delegate.

b) Turn knowledge into doing

  • Make sure meetings are outcome-driven.
  • Make it permissible to object and criticise.
  • Establish mechanisms to track progress against defined outcomes.
  • Encourage a can-do attitude.
  • Build in quick wins.

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