Using the right persona in the right situation
Here's a follow-on from last week's post about the 3 leadership personas...
Taking a sales team as an example, they might sometimes need help to plan strategically, or advice on how to spot opportunities and problems for their clients in order to open up sales opportunities. Sometimes they might need to be coached on how to approach a sales call or meeting, and will need feedback afterwards. And other times they’ll need you to step in directly to share your own sales experience to help them close a deal.
Over time, you should look to reduce the amount of time you spend being the expert and increase the time you spend being a manager and a leader. Try to aim for a 40/40/20 split between leader, manager and expert. If you can achieve that, you’ll be helping your team to become more self-sufficient, and you’ll free up your own time to concentrate on more strategic, high-value tasks.
Your role as a conduit and a cushion
As a leader, you need to do many things. One of the less obvious aspects of your role, but a very important one, is to be a conduit and a cushion for your team. There are many messages coming down from above. Some are appropriate to communicate to your team whilst others are not.
There are also pressures from above. To an extend, the team often needs to know about these pressures, but not always. Your job, is to decide which messages should be cascade down, and when the appropriate time is for this to happen. You’re also there to cushion your team when there’s disruption above so that they can concentrate on their core job.