In this Collectif post, Chrysalis’ Founder, Jeremy Clifford, outlines how C-suite media executives can build a powerful, measured and assessable leadership framework – and in the process give their own organisation a leadership MOT. P.S. For international readers, a UK MOT (Ministry of Transport) test is an annual safety check for vehicles over three years old, ensuring they meet road safety and environmental standards.
With the start of the new year, we know that many people are already filling out their CVs, refreshing their LinkedIn profiles and thinking about how they will find a new career opportunity.
For January is that period of renewal we all go through and many make fundamental changes to their lives, both personally and professionally.
So, how should we think about renewing our leadership style, building our competencies and ensuring we create the right working environment so that (a) we can attract those people who are considering a new job and (b) we retain the talent we want to in our own organisations?
Over the past couple of months, I have been working on what I call a Leadership Maturity Model – a framework that helps people to assess their leadership capabilities – and their frailties and provides what I call a Leadership MOT where they can diagnose what elements aren’t working so well and what they can do to improve.
You can read as many textbooks and self-improvement books as you can find on leadership and there is no standard model of what qualities a good leader should have.
So I have created my own. It is by no means exhaustive and by no means inspirational, but the list provides the foundations upon which you can then add as many qualities as you want.
So as we get into 2024, I thought I would share my seven steps to establishing a leadership framework on which you can build your skills.
- Communication – of course this is number one on the list. But how good are you really at communicating? Do you have a strategy in place – setting aside time when you will assess how, what and to whom you will communicate, and crucially – how often? And is it one-way? Do you REALLY encourage a culture where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas and concerns – how can you test this?
- Goal Setting: Are you clear on your goals for the year ahead – and more importantly, are your team members? How effectively have you communicated them. Did you involve them in helping to shape them – and how often do you plan to review them – and how do you plan to do this?
- Delegation: Linked to goal setting but an incredibly important skill. Delegation is a coaching tool that enables you to ensure work is handled at the lowest level of seniority to get the job done – but provides the opportunity for people to develop and grow under the guidance of the next-level manager.
- Decision Making. Are you an effective decision maker? Your answer is going to be yes – but how do you assess your skill here? Does your decision making not only influence your team’s but also has a positive impact on the entire organisation’s direction. Do you mentor others in decision-making, helping to develop the next generation of leaders?
- Problem solving. You can see how delegation, decision making and problem solving are interlinked. How adept are you at weighing up the risks and rewards in problem solving – what tools do you use – or do you use your informed judgement – when there may well be other factors you should be considering?
- Time management. Once again, linked with Delegation – what tools do you use to understand when and how to spend your time on different tasks. Do you align your time investment with your leadership goals and organisation objectives – or is it ad hoc? How do you assess how much time to spend on tasks that are urgent, important, not important and those that can be delegated?
- Relationship Building. You may have invested a lot of time in building the culture within your own department and like to think you have great relationships at work. How much time have you spent on relationships with people outside of work and those in different departments. How much time are you spending building and nurturing these?
So these are my seven building blocks to leadership. Each one of these carries their own development steps so you can build each competency as you see fit.
Starting with your own personal MOT will enable you to learn how you can help the leaders and managers below you to also work on their own diagnostics. And throughout 2024 see how you can build a powerful, measured and assessable leadership framework.
Director, Chrysalis Transformations
Jeremy is the founding director of change organisation Chrysalis, which is focused on helping people and businesses to develop and transform through leadership development, coaching and business transformation support. Chrysalis run development training, coaching programmes and digital transformation and change management consultancy. Jeremy has worked with FT Strategies, Google, IPSO, Reuters Institute, and is a worldwide panel member with WAN-IFRA.