Business Leadership

In business life

My interest in business leadership is based on my life’s experiences and the search for what really is going to change the landscape and mind-set of future management. I have experienced some personal vertical development, but lots more horizontal learning in my time. I will explain my understanding of the difference in its simplest form.

Horizontal, is learning. Companies traditionally help employees acquire more skills, share knowledge, or give experience opportunities. Vertical development is, as Dr Alan Watkins in explains, can be transformational, a change in behaviour.

       - More mature, more capable, more inclusive, more sophisticated, and emotionally intelligent.

It is profoundly different than knowledge acquired and has profound effects on team performance.

When I read research that is telling me, 89% of new management hires don’t feel that they have the full set of capabilities required to do their new jobs…there is plenty of room for vertical development.

“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.” – Robin Sharma

Angry Cartoon Man

With this in mind

  • What is the passion that keeps you positive, enthusiastic and motivated and how do others share it?
  • How much emphasis do you place on establishing and sustaining positive relationships, even when you don’t feel like it?
  • Is your work balanced between quantity and quality driven factors?
  • Are you managing, directing or inspiring, leading and influencing?  What’s the difference?
  • What proportion of your time do you give to the important decisions relative to things that are urgent?
  • How do you learn from decisions you make?
  • Do you give or receive feedback, if so, how is it dealt with?
  • What’s the ratio of reactive versus rational decision making?
  • Do you focus more on weaknesses than strengths, drawbacks rather than opportunity?
  • What impact are your words and actions having on your own motivation and the motivation of the people around you?” Are you a manager who wants a purposeful inspirational approach? Do you want to develop a culture that supports personal growth and performance, trust, responsibility, engagement, connection?
  • How authentic is everyone’s connection and engagement? Is there honesty in the culture? Do people fake it?
  • Where is your self-esteem coming from, within, or do you seek ego support from others?
  • How do you affect the ‘customer experience?’
  • What is every member of your team’s impact on the ‘customer experience?’
  • How do you feel about presentations to peers, staff or management?
  • Does the team ‘own’ your goals? Who is purposeful, generating the best growth? Who is giving people a genuine reason for engaging with their full potential?
Laptop on fire
  • Phone always on?
  • Take a genuine physical and mental break when on holiday?
  • Emails at weekends and holidays?
  • What value do you place on an anxiety or stress free environment?

"Only when coaching principles govern or underlie all management behaviour and interactions, as they certainly will do in time, will the full force of people's performance potential be released."

[ John Whitmore, in "Coaching for Performance"]

Do you need that vertical or transformational shift in performance?