From Technical Professional to Manager and Leader
As people move up the leadership pipeline one of the key challenges for many is “letting go” of their technical expertise as they focus more on leadership. This program has been specifically designed for technically trained professionals who need to step up into more people-oriented roles.
Where, initially, they will have been recruited and rewarded for taking pride (ideally) in their technical skills, the more they are promoted, the more critical it is that they let go of the fun stuff and begin to enjoy helping others succeed. Failing to evolve these new values and they will struggle delegating, tend to micro manage and fail to develop future talent.
We have now been involved in several large scale, culture wide, safety leadership programs in Oil and Gas, Energy and mining companies. Typically we work with existing Safety programs helping break down “them and us” silos to create cultures of respect and acceptance.
Leaders are typically faced with two distinctly different types of challenges, i.e. ones that are known and are relatively easy to solve and ones that are new, with unknown variables and that require people to change.
The temptation for many leaders is to define all challenges as known- i.e. I can fix this (and I also look competent- re-electable etc.). Unfortunately, if the problem requires people to let go of entrenched beliefs, habits and behaviours and adapt to new circumstances then this “expert”, hierarchical approach usually makes things worse.
Adaptive leadership is about helping people face reality and then helping them own the changes. Adaptive leaders recognise they have to give the work back to the people who have to change, that you can’t “tell” people what to do (especially if you’re facing an unknown challenge) but rather engage them, the people doing the work, in developing solutions.
Iraq is a clear example of leaders’ mis diagnosing the challenge. Sending in the army to bomb a culture into democracy is a “technical” solution to a fundamentally adaptive challenge. We live in a world full of the consequences of mis diagnosed Adaptive challenges.
Most of us spend most of our time living and working in teams- from families to work teams, divisions and organisations. All teams have the same core requitements. Rather than talking lots of theory our teamwork programs provide opportunities for the teams to develop stronger foundations. Our goal is always to develop improved trust and respect leading to enhanced commitment and accountability.
Again, a key attribute to developing and maintaining strong relationships is curiosity. Taking your team members (partners) for granted is a slippery slope to disinterest and separation.
Typical responses we get at the end of our teamwork engagements are “if you’d told me we were going to do that I wouldn’t have come- and I wish we did this years ago.”
For more information about the work we've done or or what we can do to help you, please get in touch