10 Feb Wear the Crown. Be the Crown.
Sovereigns, or what we today like to call Royals, may one day be crowned the official leader of their country. This ascent to the throne is most often dictated by the order in which the Royal falls within the family tree. Depending on the size and significance of the country, when a Royal ascends to the throne it often involves lots of fanfare and extensive coverage by the global media. Compare this ascent to the throne to the ascent of you or someone in your organization into a leadership role. Sure, you may receive some recognition in the company newsletter, or, if you are high on the organizational chart and your organization is a media darling, you may even be recognized with lots of fanfare – quite possibly similar to that of a new king or queen.
This is where I think the similarities end and the differences begin when comparing the rise of a new leader of a country and the rise of a new leader within an organization. The road to the throne is most often immersed in years of training (since birth) around diplomacy, social issues, political issues and economic issues. It requires embracing the core values of your country and understanding that every word spoken and every action you take is questioned and considered as having some level of significance. However, when you think about the ascent of a leader in many organizations, how much time is given to preparing this new leader for their new role? Their words, their actions will be also scrutinized and considered by those that are expected to follow them. I would suspect that, beyond most CEOs and EDs, many VPs, EDs, Directors and Managers rose to a leadership role due to hard work and success in achieving their individual performance goals. They are often thrust into this leadership role because they exhibit great skills at creating value – often times that value is an individual contributor rather than one that demonstrates the ability to harnesses the collective intelligence of a team or teams.
As you think about your organization and those that populate the leadership roles on your organizational chart, how many of them have actually ascended to their position of management and leadership not only because of their ability to deliver on their individual goals but also because they demonstrated an ability to harness the collective intelligence of those around them? Consider asking yourself if you or those on your team who occupy leadership roles are ready to not only wear the crown but also ready to be the crown.