Business | SUNBIZ

Develop Your Senior Leaders

An executive leadership team is a collection of the most senior managers within an organisation.
21 May 2023 11:51
Develop Your Senior Leaders
A one-day workshop is good for providing people with an introduction to leadership or addressing specific issues such as managing poor performance or learning presentation skills

An executive leadership team is a collection of the most senior managers within an organisation.

They are responsible for creating a vision and communicating that vision throughout the organisation while keeping everyone on-point during the inevitably challenging times.

If you imagine an organisation is like a car then the executive leader­ship team is the steering wheel.

Without them working effectively, the organisation will never get to where it wants to be which is why it’s vital to have well trained execu­tives.

A leader in an executive role has to be trained differently from lead­ers in other roles.

Leadership at its very core is the same regardless of position or in­dustry.

Leaders require a different focus depending on where they are on the leadership pathway.

This pathway consists of five unique levels that a leader goes through on their journey to becom­ing a better leader.

The subject matter expert is the first level of leader­ship. People who are inspir­ing their colleagues through their actions rather than their position.

The second level is the man­ager level, where a person has been identified as a leader and has been given a position that makes them responsible for people.

The third level is the leader, where the manager develops the skills to influence across the ranks including upwards within their organisation.

The fourth is the culture crea­tor where the leader is lead­ing and is motivating through creating environments, rather than face to face in­teractions. The final stage is the legacy creator in which the leader is able to move on because they have developed leaders and created environ­ments that operate indepen­dently of them.

Each level is vital for an or­ganisation. Executives exist either in the third or fourth level (culture creator or leg­acy creator) of an organisa­tion. This level requires a unique type of training.

Use coaching alongside workshops

To train your executives to become better it is advisable to go with a leadership programme rather than a single workshop.

A one-day workshop is very good for providing people with an intro­duction to leadership or addressing specific issues such as managing poor performance or learning pres­entation skills.

Executives should have a good level of leadership skills already otherwise they wouldn’t be in the position they are in so they would benefit more from a leadership pro­gramme which is a combination of workshops and individual coach­ing.

This allows executives to learn leadership theories as well as have one-on-one ongoing mentoring and support to apply these learnings into their daily work.

Obtain feedback from staff

One of the biggest differences be­tween training your low level lead­ers ,and your executives, is in how they receive feedback.

The higher you go in an organisa­tion the less likely it is for you to receive instant feedback form your staff and colleagues so your devel­opment needs to include 360 degree feedback surveys.

This is when anonymous feedback is gathered from your staff and col­leagues by an independent expert.

This feedback is then summarised and provided to the leader as part of a 100 day action plan. Not only does this provide the executive with a clear path of how to become better, but also a series of metrics which can be used to measure im­provement.

Build executive presence

A typical leader interacts with their team on a daily basis, but an executive will be responsible for many more staff and some of those staff will have layers of reporting lines between them so the nature and frequency of interactions are different and this requires a differ­ent set of leadership skills.

The most successful executives have what is called “executive pres­ence” where they are very aware of the importance of ensuring their communication both in terms of emails, meetings and speeches is inspirational.

As a result the best executives are very knowledgeable about the relevant psychological principles needed to create high-performance teams and increase employee moti­vation.

Never forget inspirational leader­ship is like every other set of skills and can be learned.

Develop strategic thinking

The most effective executives have what is called ‘strategic thinking’.

They are able to understand the critical interface between strategic challenges external to the organisa­tion and the internal organisation­al leadership and execution issues.

This means they can balance the day to day operational issues with the long term business challenges that every industry faces.

The business world is changing very quickly and how people did business 10 years ago is very dif­ferent to how it is conducted today, the increase of the importance of social media, the business world is changing even quicker, and the best executives not only have to manage the changes, but predict them.

Get expert advice

If you can only invest in one kind of training this year, it should be leadership training for your execu­tives.

This will produce the best return on your investment.

For training to be effective, you need to consider approaching ex­ternal facilities to design and deliv­er a leadership programme for you.

Always approach people who have expertise and a track record in delivering this type of executive training, because it is different from traditional training.

If you have any doubts test the knowledge of the potential facilita­tors by asking them to explain what type of leadership philosophy they will be using and their methodol­ogy. If they can’t do this, they will not be capable of delivering the type of training that will take your executives and your business to the next level.

The executive leadership team may well be the most senior and ex­perienced leaders in your organisa­tion, but there will still be room for improvement.

Any improvement at this senior level can produce increased moti­vation, productivity and most im­portantly increased profits.

If you want to invest in the future of your organisation, it’s time to in­vest in your executives.

 Story By: Frederica Elbourne


Got A News Tip

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.

For All Fiji Sun Advertising
Fijisun E-edition