Leader-The Larger Context
A leader has a larger field of view. John Maxwell in The 360-Degree Leader shares the following thoughts.
Most people evaluate events in their lives according to how they will be personally affected. Leaders think within a broader context. They start by asking themselves, How this will impact those they lead? They also look at how something will impact those that they don’t immediately lead. They try to see everything in terms of the whole organization.
To be an effective leader you want to ask the following questions:
- How do I fit in my area or department?
- Ho do all the departments fit into the organization?
- Where does our organization fit in the market?
- How is our market related to other industries and the economy?
And as industries in our economy become more global, many good leaders are thinking even more broadly!
You don’t have to become a global economist to lead effectively from the middle of your organization. The point is that 360-Degree Leaders see their area as part of the larger process and understand how the pieces of the larger puzzle fit together. “If you desire to be a better leader, then broaden your thinking and work at seeing things from a larger perspective.”—John Maxwell, The 360-Degree Leader.
The question for all of us is how does this apply to me? Secondly, what am I going to do about it? In my personal business coaching practice I very often focus on leadership. For the self-employed business owner with a small business leadership first and foremost is about how he or she chooses to lead themselves. In a small company, as you are putting the processes in place for growth, how the owner leads himself and models his behavior has a ripple effect on everything from sales to marketing to hiring to the bottom line.
Interestingly, with larger corporate clients the same is true. The difference is that they have many processes in place that support leading a large organization. How often have we seen a CEO of a large company fired and the company does just fine? We see it quite often. Why? With multiple layers there are other leaders in place in upper and middle management to carry on.
But, the smaller companies can take a big hit when the CEO leaves or gets fired. You may have a few people who can step in and again you may not. The health of a smaller organization can be in the balance. To minimize the loss it is critical for small companies to have good processes in place that have taught others how to lead. But, if each area in a small company has created their own “silo,” it becomes hard for them to pull together for the common good once the strong leader is gone.
A Leader Encourages The Exchange of Information
Good leaders understand that silos in an organization are deadly. They prevent free exchange of information, hamper team building across groups and ultimately are counterproductive when it comes to efficiency and profit. Leaders who see the whole picture understand this. Look at your business. See the whole business and all the effects of how you do business. When you do you will become a better leader because you are viewing people and processes in a larger context.