How Ordinary Management Can Become Extraordinary Leadership
Ordinary management is crucial. The ability to step into a situation, understand the complex web of intertwining relationships, and manage the people and resources to accomplish a goal are critical skills for all executives. According to Mike Chitty in his article, “Ordinary and Extraordinary Leadership”, management is the efficiency-based, improvement-oriented focus on the present situation. Ordinary simply means the implementation of well-known principles to a situation that is relatively black and white. He makes sure to note that ordinary is difficult, and should in no way be undervalued, with even the best managers needing years of practice to master it.
Leadership, while not mutually exclusive of management, is the visionary focus on the future. Extraordinary applies to the implication that the solution to a situation is not clear, that there is disagreement and absolutely no guarantee that the steps taken to solve a problem will succeed. The greatest executives within a company must be both managers and leaders. According to Mike Chitty, the set of skills common to all extraordinary leaders includes: Creativity and political/emotional intelligence, confidence, and the ability to work through disagreement.
An extraordinary leader will apply an iterative process of hypothesizing, testing, measuring, learning, and trying again. However, the most important part of this iterative process is the ability to bring people on board, to convince employees and coworkers to stand by you. To do this, leaders must build relationships and give feedback, delegate and manage priorities. Building relationships across an organization can work to break down imaginary hierarchical walls and allow leaders to better build trust and courage from others. Giving useful and constructive feedback, Mike Chitty states, “must become a fabric of a leader’s regular responsibilities.” This not only helps build relationships, but also helps leaders grow both personally and professionally. Delegating tasks and managing priorities are soft skills needed to ensure that the proper focus is given to improving an organization rather than just maintaining it.
Extraordinary leaders must build relationships and manage priorities to convince others that the difficult steps taken today will lead to a better future. In a day to day setting, executives must apply standard operating practice and management techniques to ensure effective operation of a company while at the same time, working to lead others toward growth and positive transformation.
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Article submitted by Bank of America For mid-market companies, business success and responsible growth aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, prioritizing responsible growth is becoming increasingly important, and successful companies are making sustainability central to their growth strategies. Beyond good corporate citizenship, they are recognizing the intrinsic link between the strength of their business and that of the communities and economies in which they operate. Leading your growth with those goals in mind builds resilience and better solutions for the future. Consider the following: Responsible growth companies perform better. Companies that consider the impact of risks and opportunities on the environment, local communities and society may produce better financial results than those that don’t. Additionally, 90% of companies believe a sustainability plan is important for remaining competitive. Responsible growth companies attract investment. A 2016 study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group surveyed 3,000 executives and managers from more than 100 countries. Findings revealed that 75% of senior executives in investment firms agree that a company’s sustainability performance is materially important to their investment decisions, and nearly half would not invest in a company with a poor sustainability record. Ninety percent of executives see sustainability as important, but only
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