The Levels in Your Leadership System

I was meeting with a client who was embarking on a company-wide initiative to build stronger leadership capability across their organization. Essentially, they needed help in thinking through their entire leadership system.  As I shared in my last blog, a leadership system consists of all an organization’s leaders - from the Board to senior management levels, from middle-managers to frontline and to emerging leaders.

By thinking about leadership as a system, you can better appreciate the needs and challenges by level, but also understand how the levels interact with one another day to day (more on this in my next blog).  In my client meeting, we began by identifying their leadership needs and challenges by level.  What surfaced was a set of key questions that helped the organization think about their leadership challenges in a broader and more strategic manner.  Below is the list of questions. Have a read and see how they can help you think about the leadership system in your organization.

1. Board Level – How can we:

  • Improve our Board’s dynamics?
  • Evaluate our Board’s effectiveness?

2.  Senior Management Level – How can we:

  • Build strong executive teams able to set the right course?
  • Align and engage top leaders to execute our growth strategy?
  • Develop senior leaders to assume executive responsibilities?
  • Create the shift from technical management to enterprise-wide leadership?
  • Help our leaders become more “global”?
  • Ensure leadership continuity through succession management?

3. Middle-Management Level – How can we:

  • Help middle managers lead change and execute strategy?
  • Build productive units (intact and cross-functional teams)?
  • Foster collaboration to create value for customers?
  • Identify our high potentials for progression to executive levels?

4. Frontline Management Level – How can we:

  • Help managers optimize performance of individuals?
  • Help frontline leaders better manage their teams?
  • Create a culture with highly engaged employees?
  • Identify and develop high potential managers for the future?

5. Emerging Leaders- How can we:

  • Identify our emerging leaders?
  • Create a leadership mindset early?

What insights do you gain when you think about your leadership system by level?  Let me know.