Many CEOs want their managers to also be leaders. But that’s the antithesis of role/goal clarity. Managers manage and leaders lead. So, how does one ascend the corporate ladder and acquire the skills necessary to lead at a higher level of responsibility? One cardinal reality is that not everyone can be a leader. A noteworthy UK study found that 83% of leaders today ultimately fail in positions of executive authority – they were hired or promoted by presumably smart gatekeepers but didn’t have “what it takes” to be there in the first place. This course examines and answers such questions as “What makes a good leader?” and “What does it take to succeed in today’s increasingly complex, unpredictable, hyper-competitive business environment?”
Leader turnover is increasing dramatically in the post-pandemic era as “the bar is being raised” and boards are asking whether they have “the right skills” for current marketplace demands (Globe & Mail). Not surprisingly, almost 70% of leaders are “seriously considering” quitting for personal reasons (Deloitte) that include the realization they’re “just not up to the task.” Competence-based leadership is now under intense scrutiny and often being called into question. This exodus creates new opportunities for managers seeking avenues for advancement. New challenges and new realities demand new competencies – especially those that place a higher premium on the ability to compel followership, motivate loyalty and inspire employee confidence to go the extra mile.
This course is not a philosophical discussion about what leadership is – that will be provided in supplemental readings which are optional. Rather the focus is on what you need to know to lead others to greatness. It identifies the uncomfortable truths and answers the critical questions every manager must contemplate and every leader must confront. These include: Do I possess the emotional and mental qualities, interpersonal skills, street-smart insights, decision-making savvy and executive presence to lead? What credentials and skill sets will get me recognized for my leadership potential and advance my career objectives?
There are of course other critical question you need to answer: Can I handle the dynamic forces that either are or soon will be impacting every business enterprise going forward: like changing stakeholder expectations, decaying business paradigms, archaic workplace practices, and weak strategies that are simply unable to cope with unanticipated but formidable “black swan” events? Is there a dark side to being a leader that managers don’t know about? Can I deal effectively with increasing ethical dilemmas in my profession, manage or lead those who are smarter than I am, and build a healthy, adaptive, more resilient organization? What about my own physical and mental fitness to lead? What am I ultimately responsible for that I was not as a manager? What, for me, is the meaning of leading with purpose?
This one-of-a-kind learning experience was designed and is led by someone who has dealt with thousands of business leaders as clients, coachees, and students as well as being the subjects of accountability audits and crisis interventions by governments. He’s worked with big egos and strong egos, both the brilliant and the clueless, good-hearted and downright mean and narrow-minded senior executives, genuinely inclusive leaders and control freaks, and those who are quick witted or endlessly dreary. He’s met them all. So, he knows exactly what makes a poor leader, a good leader and a great leader. (A note of perspective and caution: even the best fail in what they’re trying to accomplish but for quite different reasons.)
The course includes an 85-page pre-course workbook of self-diagnostic tasks and supplemental readings.