Research has shown that the biggest continuous challenge faced by CEOs is the ability to keep all plates spinning in the here and now, whilst planning for the future. And effective leaders know how to do that.
Typically, leaders are better at one than the other. Those of you who’ve grown up in time-sensitive work environments are likely to handle short-term pressures well. Whilst the visionaries amongst you will be good at long-term strategic planning; and may struggle to transform your vision into a workable plan of action.
Throughout my career I’ve worked with and for both types. And I’ve noticed that the more effective leaders are adept at translating strategic plans into operational practices.
Ultimately, your managers are the ones who have to implement the strategy through their teams. And even the word ‘strategy’ instils fear into many of them. Most won’t have a clue what you mean by that, unless and until you find a way to translate it into a language they can understand.
Effective leaders do that by gathering intelligence from across the organisation. Moreover, they value the variety of input and that difference in perspective.
And they allow their people to do the same. I’m an advocate of supporting people to invest their energy into the things they naturally do well; rather than exerting too much energy developing weaknesses. So, my invitation would be to embrace your natural ability when it comes to setting or implementing the vision.
Good CEOs are great visionaries. And they know how to sell that dream and bring people along with them on the journey. Effective leaders know how to take that vision and turn it into something doable. When you can do that your managers will take the ball and run.