Enabling Leaders: Live to lead

Leadership at the CEO level is about leading through others. In a nutshell this means enabling good people to lead others in the wider organisation to succeed. It is about setting people up for success, supporting, guiding, mentoring, developing your functional heads of department (or whatever you call them) to deliver the agreed deliverables for the company and to ensure they do so consistently.

This means constantly investing in their development and supporting them through the good and the bad.  I have to constantly challenge myself to get better as not only a leader but at how I can enable others working at the top of their game. Last week in my capacity as a Reserve Army officer I assisted the NZ Army to select potential Army Officers to undergo Officer training. This involved working in a close team and assessing candidates over a three day period. I learnt a lot more about what to look for and how to assess leaders and it was my first time in that Army environment where I was not being tested myself. Not only was it a pleasure to see smart young people giving it 100%, it was hard work as part of the assessment team and given we were making decisions about peoples future lives and the Armys future leaders we were pushed to make clear and justifiable assessments.

Yesterday I did some self reflection after going through an hour long debrief with a psychologist looking at the results of my “Hogan” profile. An in depth look at who I am, how I lead and some of the things that I need to leverage and be aware of so as to lift my leadership to another level. Already I have seen a return on this investment through the conversations it has opened up with my team and with clients.

This morning I will be working with a high performance leader for three hours as he invests time into his leadership style, skills and actions. Leadership is a lonely space and those committed to constant and incremental improvement achieve great things for not only themselves personally but their organisations and those they lead. It is a really positive journey of growth and an opportunity to try new things, make mistakes and from that comes the true gold = Lessons learnt!

What have you learnt lately in you role as a leader? How do you stay at the top of your game as a leader? I’d love some feedback and thoughts on this.

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