Recalibrating Your Leadership Style
During a recent strategy session with the leadership team of a rapidly growing company, the subject of organizational change came up. Specifically, there was the realization that as the organization grows, its processes, structure, and its people will likely change. What will also change is what is needed from the leadership team and what it will require from the CEO/owner.
The company’s CEO/owner had carefully and skillfully moved the business through the first three phases of organizational growth: owner/operator, owner/manager, and management organization. To fully realize its growth potential, the leadership team set its sights on Level 4: The Leadership Organization. A robust discussion ensued on how this lofty goal would be achieved. A key issue/obstacle the team identified was the way the CEO had led the business up until now and how that must change.
For most businesses, moving through the first three phases of organizational growth happen almost naturally as the business advances and matures. It is not at all surprising to find the overwhelming majority of businesses reach and remain at Level 3: the “Management Organization.” There are any number of reasons for this. The most compelling is the need for the CEO to recalibrate their leadership style.
In most simple terms, the CEO’s leadership traits that were instrumental in getting the business through the first three levels of growth will cease to be effective as the company attempts to reach Level 4: The Leadership Organization. In fact, these same traits will actually have the inverse effect and will work against any and all efforts to become a Leadership Organization. The work of the CEO now moves from “running the business” to leading it. There are many factors involved in this, some subtle, some profound.
While this particular CEO recognizes the need to make this change (a step in the right direction; a dose of genuine humility helps!), the actual work of change is difficult and is best advanced with the help of a skilled facilitator/coach.
For more information on transitioning your leadership and in turn, your business, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.