As a senior manager you have many roles: Politician, role model, naysayer, pioneer, crowbar and many more… One role is leader of leaders. Here’s the most important question you should ask yourself with regards to this role.
„Do you urge your directs to deliver results or do you urge them to become better leaders?“
If you mainly care about deliverables, you are managing them, not leading. In the short term you might cash in on your excellent management and some good old top down pressure. You might even add some coaching-like activities to support your directs. In the long run you will get mediocre results. Mediocre in comparison to others who lead their directs. You’re producing delivery boys and girls.
„If you ask for deliverables, you produce delivery boys and girls.“
If you really lead your directs, you will urge them to improve in every aspect of their function. You still ask for results, of course. But you ask them (and coach them how) to become better leaders, better communicators, better listeners, better thinkers, better strategists…
Imagine all your directs were very good leaders. If they lead their directs well, and these directs lead their teams well, you would get where the magic happens: delegation and empowerment down through every level of hierarchy. The whole organisation would have a level-up. From managed delivery staff to keen and well trained team members.
So, do you put a lot of efford in really leading your directs? If you don’t, is it because you like to be needed as the big manager? Is it because you do not trust in the abilities of your directs? You are missing the chance of multiplying your own leadership power by ten or more.
And don’t waste the chance to get your own level-up, from senior manager to leader of leaders.