Between formal and informal leadership
Sometimes, when people do focus on career development they use it as their guiding star, promotion into management or more senior layers of management.
I’m guilty of that myself. When I thinking of indicators of success for me as a manager, I instinctively think of the promotions people in my team have gained to become head of the service, or portfolio lead or programme manager.
Developing people’s leadership capability
You can also develop people’s leadership in terms of helping them develop their speciality and then lead on that. Or if they’re already specialists, helping them lead more cross-cutting areas outside of their comfort zone.
This can be formal leadership or people or projects, or it can be thought leaders in terms of someone’s reputation. Of course, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.
If I look at my career, I think I got promoted less because of being excellent at what I was paid to do, and more at creating new opportunities for the team or the organisation — be that trading research services, opening up our service design function to work with communities and external partners or developing communities of practice across sectors.
I see it in others too, who may not be managers, but have pioneered new ways of working in their organisation or sector, that have given them leadership capability.
What I like most about leading?
What I like most about leading is
- creating different ways of working in which people develop a strategy or design a service that means they want to learn from each other, solve problems and enable residents to co-own the work
- experiment on the ground to show early visible impact so other people can pick up the baton and grow the impact
- create opportunities for people to shine through their skills and stretch themselves, through learning new ones and building new relationships that help them build strong networks that help drive change
What I like least about leading?
- Acting in a way that doesn’t embody my values as much as I could
What are the ways people become more productive due to my leadership?
- Opportunity for people to lead and create impact
- Opportunity to develop their identity and career
- Opportunity to learn and work in new ways
- Opportunity to build relationships and networks
- Challenge themselves to be more inclusive and ambitious
What are the types of work I do less of due to my leadership?
- Working out the nuts and bolts of a project and strategy
- Building day to day relationships with colleagues on a specific issue
- Analysing research and writing strategies
How do you feel when you’re with colleagues whose work is less familiar?
- Curious and excited as I love taking on a new challenge, and providing advice, particularly in a new environment
- Uncertain initially if the reason I’m involved with them isn’t clear, but then I quickly identify with them how I can help
- Questioning whether someone in my team or another team or organisation has better knowledge and skills to get involved in helping them than me
What do you like most about leading? What do you like least? What are the ways people become more productive due to your leadership?