Thursday, September 12, 2019

Leadership Tip: Boost Your Impact - Be An Executive!

Are you an effective executive? How do you know? How are you actively gauging whether you are or are not? What would those around you say? If you are an executive, you should have clear answers to each of these questions.

What if you don't have a formal executive title, but still have high levels or a large scope of responsibilities? Are you then an executive?...very possibility, you are!

Here's an interesting point - there are folks who are executives but don't see themselves as one because their title may not reflect the typical perception and understanding of an executive. In fact, many of those same folks see themselves as leaders, but not necessarily executives.

And this is important because in human behavior science, our subconscious - the source of automated behavior - responds to what we "acts out" our self-concept - how we see ourselves.
Career Tip: Don't be defined or confined by a title.

Most of Us Are Executives
When you look at the definition of executive, we can easily conclude that many of us fit the definition. For example, a "department head" in essence is an executive - even director level....managers??

Why do I say this? Look at the basic definition of executive:
Executive: having the power to put plans, actions, or laws, policies into effect. 
Functions: administrative, decision-making, directorial, directing, controlling, managerial.

The functions listed are all behaviors in which even most 1st level managers engage. The key distinction from one type of executive to another is the scope of power, authority, and responsibility. For example, the responsibilities for an executive of a large publicly traded Fortune 500 company is different from those of ....let's say... a small not-for-profit. Yet, both hold the role and title of executive.

The point is, at its core, each role holds the fundamental expectation of achieving needed results - that is in fact being an effective executive.

So, why does this matter? 2 Issues:

>  I've observed leaders who are not as effective as they could be, who are not functioning at their full potential, contributing at their best, because they don't have the "executive factor" infused in their leadership psyche. I don't know about you but saying your leader vs. saying you're an executive kinda has a different feel to it.

> And, some carry the assumption that having the title of executive and being an effective executive are synonymous - yet...they are not.  Even hiring an executive with "previous experience" does not mean that experience was effective or will translate. They could be experienced at being ineffective. 

Asking what someone "did" is not the same as learning how effective they were at doing it.

So, as a leader, if you want to boost your value, fine-tune your performance by considering this questions, "Am I effective or How effective am I?"

And, if you want to improve your effectiveness, start by implementing the following 7 steps:

1. See yourself as an executive (no matter your official title) in replace of or in addition to seeing yourself as a leader). Seeing yourself a certain way will dictate what you expect of yourself and how you conduct yourself. Update or reframe your "self-concept".

2. Clearly define what effective means to you within your current responsibilities and expectations. 

3. Determine what's currently missing that you'll need to change to meet what you've determined is being effective.

4. Determine how you'll consistently gauge whether you're hitting the mark.

5. Seek regular input to quickly fill in your blindspots. Don't wait for formal 360 initiatives (if your organization does those) - or surprise feedback from your direct report. You'll miss too many real-time opportunities to quickly course correct. Getting regular "feedback" is a key element of being effective.

6. Clearly demonstrate that meaningful action has been taken as a response to input you've received.

7. Make sure you consistently, voluntarily communicate results to all stakeholders in a timely way. Keep people in the know. This is also a way of aligning your performance perception to theirs while keeping your focus and staying on track. Being effective also includes managing the perception of those to whom you are accountable. 

The need for effective execution in leadership and management is such a big deal...
we've decided to create a special development intensive in this area. It's called The 3 Disciplines: How to Boost Your Executive Effectiveness in 60 Days. If you know you need to be more effective (or you know of someone who does) in achieving expected or needed results or you need to get better at strategic execution - learn more about this.

A side note: being an effective leader/manager is the first of 9 building blocks in our Effective Executive's Smart Management Blueprint. If you don't know about it - you'll want to learn about this very unique step-by-step roadmap to developing competent managers while improving people management & operations. Learn more here.

Resources You'll Want to Consider

1. Read The Effective Executive by the father of modern day management Peter Drucker. Several of my clients have given this book to their senior leadership team.

2. Read Results-Based Leadership - David Ulrich...and you're thinking what else is there?? You'd be surprised3. Consider our jump-start coaching initiative. In the next few months, I'll be forming a 6-9 week coaching cycle based on both of these books. If you want to be notified when it's ready to be rolled out, just email me and put in the subject line: Interested in the Effective Executive Jump Start Group. Em:

3. Check out our Time Management Skills resource page => go here

Additional Posts

Cool Tip to Stay Laser Focused | Little Known High-Impact Coaching Method

Do You Really Care About Your Leadership Results?

Exciting News! // We're excited to launch our new digital arm - Manage Global. To compliment our global reach with our LinkedIn Learning courses, we're offering a compelling resource - The Smart Management Blueprint that can be accessed and implemented in any business environment, world-wide. It provides a step-by-step roadmap to simultaneously improve business and people management while developing competent managers. If you feel a need for improvement in any of these areas you'll want to learn more. Check it out here!

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