ToMorrow’sLeAdersTips for Developingthe C-SuiteWith the realisation that most companiesmay have established development pl...
leaDershIp ToDayleadership at all levels has become morechallenging in recent years. The uncertaineconomic climate requiri...
Performance Measurement & FeedbackIn most companies, performance ismeasured too much on the quantitativeresult (often focu...
Mentoring                                         reflection. reverse mentoring (having peopleexecutives should draw from ...
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Tomorrow's Leaders Tips For Developing The C Suite

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With the realisation that most companies
may have established development plans for
their younger managers but very little for
those ready for the C-Suite and the Board,
Criticaleye asked its C-Suite Members what
is missing and, in their view, what factors are
necessary for the ideal development plan.

This article from Peter Cheese and
Andrew Minton condenses the findings
from those discussions, presents the
issues and offers a few solutions.

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Tomorrow's Leaders Tips For Developing The C Suite

  1. 1. ToMorrow’sLeAdersTips for Developingthe C-SuiteWith the realisation that most companiesmay have established development plans fortheir younger managers but very little forthose ready for the C-Suite and the Board,Criticaleye asked its C-Suite Members whatis missing and, in their view, what factors arenecessary for the ideal development plan.This article from Peter Cheese andAndrew Minton condenses the findingsfrom those discussions, presents theissues and offers a few solutions. www.criticaleye.net 01
  2. 2. leaDershIp ToDayleadership at all levels has become morechallenging in recent years. The uncertaineconomic climate requiring strong focus oncosts as well as innovation and growth, anever increasing pace of change, togetherwith a more demanding and diverseworkforce are all asking more of leadersthan perhaps we have ever seen before. Executives throughoutMuch is talked about new styles of leadershipneeded to get the most out of people andorganisations today. Words like authenticity, their career are encouragedintegrity, openness, empowerment, andeven humility are the common lexicon of to be ‘team players’, yet the development tools at the topleadership today - words that would notoften have figured in leadership descriptorsof the past. Combined with more matrixedand networked organisations wheretraditional lines of top down control arediffused into networks of influence requiring focused on them as individualscollaborative working styles makes even thedefinition of top level roles a lot harder. The question is ‘are we creating the right so have to be very aware of how they behave, leaders for the future?’ and, in particular, that they ‘walk the talk’ and consistently at the C-suite level? What should we be represent the values of the organisation both Community Comment thinking about as we look at the next internally and externally. In addition, they rudi Kindts generation lining up to take the reins and should show they are open and approachable, Former Group Hr director what are the particular attributes needed and recognise a key part of their role is to British American Tobacco to make the step up to the C-suite? allow others to learn and develop under them. “While C-suite leaders can be bought from the market or developed from WhaT’s DIfferenT abouT The C-suITe? TIps for DevelopIng The C-suITe within the organisation, more and more research is showing that The senior leaders in any organisation are so, are we effectively developing the top developing your own is the best bet. the ambassadors and the conductors of the leaders of the future? The consensus from our To that end, the ideal development for the business. They need to be able to play on a discussions with the Members of Criticaleye C-suite begins early in a manager’s career. much wider stage than their previous roles is that we are not hitting the mark. The Through a mix of experiences (strategic, might have allowed – they need to understand overwhelming majority of ‘training’ courses commercial and leadership challenges), the breadth of the business, the markets in on offer for senior management are either hard-nosed performance feedback and which they operate, the challenges they face, built around developing existing technical coaching combined with a willingness to listen and learn, future leaders and the wider dynamics of their organisation. skills or building broader business and understand what it means to transition as senior managers or vps their view was likely strategic awareness through executive from one leadership level to another. to be more limited, they would have been education and placements in coveted Ivy more able to operate inside their technical league business schools. This is all good self –awareness becomes the process competence and comfort zone, and they theory and, whilst it is useful in exposing of understanding that future leadership always had someone above them to turn to. leaders to new thinking and ideas, it requirements are not a projection of past successes but a continuous re- typically lacks some key ingredients for invention around what is the most The C-suite requires ability to step outside development of the next generation of important element in a new role – an comfort zones, to network more widely C-suite leaders, particularly in the areas of element which should then become the and understand the bigger picture. They people management – what many would focus of effort. It’s a matter of letting need to understand when to take risk and see as the core skills of leadership today. go as much as it is a definition of what when to conform, both at a personal level makes the difference going forward. and for the organisation. They have to be so, what is missing? here are a few thoughts. It is therefore key that C-suite able to communicate internally from the potential is identified at an early top to the bottom, to be heard at the back The Issues stage, that organisations define of the auditorium as well as in the front unambiguously what they expect from rows, and to communicate effectively Individuals & Teams their leaders and that future leaders’ externally to represent the organisation. executives throughout their career are feet are held to the fire. There is not a lot of room for (costly) errors. encouraged to be ‘team players’, yet often To do all this, good leaders firstly are self- the development tools that they are offered unfortunately, in many organisations, aware. They understand their personal style, at the top end of their career are focused instead of investing time and money strengths and weaknesses, and they are on them as individuals. good C-suite setting up future leaders for success, consistent and authentic in how they operate. leadership also requires strong individual preparing them has become a ritual.” at the same time, they are often on a stage but also strong collective leadership. www.criticaleye.net 02
  3. 3. Performance Measurement & FeedbackIn most companies, performance ismeasured too much on the quantitativeresult (often focused on financial targets)and rarely on how those results are achieved.but what are the right behaviours, how dothese reflect corporate values, and howdo we really assess good leadership from Too often executivesthese perspectives which are so critical tothe engagement of those that follow? operate within theirfurther, very structured and long-established organisations such as the britisharmy have long traditions of giving those comfort zone and arein command instant (if not necessarilypleasant or conventional) feedback on their rarely encouragedperformance. Whilst 360 degree assessmentspartially fill this gap, those at the top oforganisations rarely receive adequate to step outsidefeedback on their performance... or, theyare not adequately reflective to accept it. Communication skills: the Front help drive innovation. projects are a naturalsuch individuals view such feedback as Line is in the Back row vehicle for this and allow some structureexternal awareness and won’t necessarily This is so critical to the role of the leader. yet, and process to be brought to bear.take it on board ie, they are not sufficiently despite its ever increasing importance, it isself-aware to act upon the feedback. rarely taught, either because the need is not self-Awareness sufficiently recognised, or because the leaders executives must have a mirror held up to themLeadership & self-Awareness themselves believe they are beyond teaching on a regular basis. They must understandThe essence of good leadership begins with . how they are seen and be mindful of theself-awareness and, at its heart, is about senior business leaders must be clear and consequences of their actions, what needsleading people. In business, executives are visible. To use a theatrical analogy, the to change and why. 360 feedback loops,typically taught their technical expertise leader should understand that those in and some of the popular psychometric testsfirst and leadership is an after-thought that ‘the front line’ are not sitting in the front such as Myers-briggs may have their placeis often misunderstood and confused with row - they are at the back of the theatre. and, if used in the right way, can be useful‘management’. The british army’s historic Therefore, any attempt to communicate additional tools in understanding personalofficer training academy, sandhurst, globally with those at the back must be so clear that style and leadership capabilities. butrecognised as a benchmark in teaching it can be understood from a distance. maintenance of behavioural changes usuallyleadership, approaches this the other way needs coaching and support from others.around: it teaches its cadets to be leaders The soluTIonsfirst and the technical education comes later. Community Comment Get out MoreLiving in the Comfort Zone being in the C-suite is all about operating Gary Kildare, Vice President Human resourcesexecutives usually learn to operate within outside the comfort zone or zone of experience Americas, europe, Asia Pacific, IBMtheir comfort zone – what they know and so, if executives are to be equipped for thewhat their area of specialism is - this is corner office, they must be afforded the “strong organisation and personal valuesthe ‘low risk’ strategy and they may rarely opportunity to step outside - sometimes are critical aspects in a leadership culture.be encouraged to step outside. operating These values are what differentiates quite literally. They should be encouraged to your company with clients, investors,within the C-suite requires leaders to work network outside their sector and function. employees and communities - andbeyond their learned boundaries much This might include something different such they are the basis on which decisionsmore, and to prepare them for this they as taking on a non-executive Directorship, are made. These values influence bothshould be given development opportunities working for a charity, or joining an external the behaviour and actions of leadersand challenged. This might involve being professional network such as Criticaleye. individually and collectively. It is evidentmoved to very different areas of the business that the level of global thinking andfrom their core competence, secondments Working abroad is also now much more citizenship required from leaders todayelsewhere, or being assigned challenging recognised as a critical development is absolutely unprecedented. They canprojects that require new thinking. help to provide the view of the future opportunity for future top level leaders to through their creativity and vision; it is give them exposure to new things, different they who will encourage collaborationAway from the Coal Face cultural dynamics, and building relationships. through team-working and open access;as executives become more senior, their In a globalised world, international experience and it is they who will increasingly makeopportunities to connect with the operations is valuable even in the smallest businesses. use of the data and facts by their critical(read ‘reality’) of the business become more evaluation and through the applicationobscured. for leaders to be true leaders, Concurrently, executives should be of analytics. leaders must be able tothey must understand the ‘shop floor’ and encouraged to work as an internal networker, shift from strategy to operations swiftlyremain connected with the customers, sharing and collaborating across the to ensure they can execute regardlessproducts and services of the business. of the business environment.” organisation to facilitate connections and www.criticaleye.net 03
  4. 4. Mentoring reflection. reverse mentoring (having peopleexecutives should draw from mentors or down in the organisation mentor top leaders)partners inside or outside the company. is another great way in helping those at theThese individuals can act as sounding top understand what is happening furtherboards, but also as respected ‘checks’ down, or perhaps to expose older generationensuring that their charges are sufficiently leaders to younger generation thinking,reflective and mindful to be effective leaders. particularly in the use of technology.Mentoring should also go the other No-one is as Important as the Teamway. Mentoring is a key part of leaders’ executives should be encouraged to focusresponsibility in developing others, and they on something larger than themselves. Thisshould be encouraged to mentor not only means more team work and constructivedirect reports but a level or two down in to debate. To appreciate this, executivesthe organisation, helping them understand could, for example, be encouraged to To ConCluDemore of what is going on in the guts of the represent the company more often in anbusiness, but also fostering further self- ambassadorial role by giving speeches, In conclusion, the development of top presenting to regulators, meeting level leadership is clearly different from Community Comment politicians, talking to stakeholders, developing leaders at lower levels, given writing articles, being interviewed, etc. the broader challenges and nature of the Gary Browning roles, and there is a need to focus on this. Chief executive, Penna Mini-Me however, it is also interesting to observe “‘self awareness’ is often measured Managers should be encouraged to recruit that many people, including the Criticaleye by the level of emotional Intelligence and promote individuals that are not Members we spoke to, recognise that the (eQI – the awareness an individual has replicas of themselves. executives should core skills of leadership at the top are the of his actions on others) present in a not be allowed to shape their ‘Mini- core skills of leadership at all levels, but leader. It is well accepted that the level Me’s to succeed them: people who are with added emphasis and importance. of a leaders eQI is more closely related ‘different’ will encourage innovation and to success in a leadership role than the development – in individuals and teams. © Criticaleye 2011 level of traditional IQ. In fact, there has Diversity of experience and thought and been some research which demonstrates that developing a leaders eQI has 70% actively encouraging their direct reports (and others) to challenge them are critical Peter more impact on leadership effectiveness than developing IQ. What is more, eQI to innovation and breaking the mould Cheese can be measured and developed, with of complacency, but will also make the tools such as those of Dr reuven bar-on. individual leaders themselves more effective. Peter is a recognised consultant, speaker so, in any development planning of the and writer in the field of human capital and Taking risks and Personal Bravery organisation. He has extensive international C- suite, board or just the Ceo, I would executives should encourage innovation by experience working with businesses around the strongly recommend an assessment of pushing their teams to take risks, but they world on human capital and organisational and development programme for eQI. should also ensure their teams understand strategy, talent management and HR What also occurs to me as particularly they have some conditional protection transformation, and the management of change. relevant at the moment is the against failure: a safe harbour. Without that, characteristic of ‘resilience’ in a leader, willingness to take risks will be significantly He retired in 2009 from Accenture after defined as the ability to take knock backs, reduced, and conformity will be the norm. a 30 year career there as a member of the bounce back and try something new. We firm’s Global Leadership Council and as live in the most extraordinary times of the Global Managing Director responsible executives also should be supported for the firms Talent and Organization turbulence and chaos and leaders must in how to challenge situations (in a Performance consulting practice. possess resilience to cope and keep constructive way), not to be afraid to going. This links to my previous point: Andrew resilience is about confidence not to ask the stupid question and be trained, take knock backs personally – part of for example, in how to give negative Minton emotional intelligence. again, resilience feedback (upwards and downwards). can be developed in leaders. good They must be encouraged to be ‘brave’. leaders tend to be more resilient than Andrew is one of the original Founders most and, by that, I include physical, Technical Training of Criticaleye, the leading Boardroom mental and emotional resilience. There is room for technical training here - for Membership community. areas specific to C-suite leadership roles that I agree that leaders must communicate Andrew’s emphasis on the value of leaders address gaps in people’s experience as they gaining perspective and having access to a wide with authenticity, integrity, openness and humility, but there is more. good leaders come up through the ranks. for example, range of knowledge and expertise has been a must communicate with inspiration communication and media training, financial significant driver to the success of Criticaleye. and passion, building trust, belief and training, negotiation skills, broader strategic His work at Criticaleye highlights the notion engagement throughout the organisation. awareness, etc. learning in these areas that, in the global economy, bringing leaders engagement is one of the closest factors can be enhanced through formal training together to share best-practice and innovation is correlated to organisational performance. programs, allied with involving the future imperative to individual and business growth. This, I believe, is harder to develop but leaders in these areas to encourage learning not impossible to get improvements.” Contact the authors through www.criticaleye.net from others and learning by doing. www.criticaleye.net 04

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