After working as leadership and executive coaches for over a decade, we realised that the distinction between leadership and management is counterproductive. Both are required to make a leader successful in the long term. At the same time most organisations still hire and promote primarily on technical skills. For a complete and balanced assessment all 3 dimensions need to be considered.
Our model assumes that all leadership development beyond innate abilities starts with self-awareness. The demands on today’s business leaders are very high and few are prepared for the level of behavioural flexibility required to be effective in a senior management role. This is especially true around the expectations that staff have of the leader’s ability to lead people and themselves.
In each of the 3 areas leaders need to evolve their level of capability as they progress in their career.
- Technical skills need to evolve into broader commercial skills, culminating in an intuitive grasp of the industry and trends in customer behaviour.
- Basic business skills need to evolve into the full set of management skills, including the ability to create and maintain systems, structures and processes that are dynamically adapted to an ever-changing environment.
- Finally from basic interpersonal skills the journey leads to developing emotional intelligence, flexibility in leadership styles and the ability to collaborate with and influence different people.