Leadership needs to be more of a partnership. And the responsibility for leadership has to rest with more than just the leader says Susan Fowler, co-creator of The Ken Blanchard Companies newly redesigned Self Leadership program.
“Some people in organizations don’t realize that the quality of their work experience depends on their being a good follower,” says Fowler. “They don’t know how to manage up—to help their leaders give them what they need to get their work done.
“As a result, leaders are left to guess what their people need, and they often don’t guess correctly. Direct reports must accept responsibility for knowing and communicating to their manager what they need to succeed.”
In a recent video interview, Fowler explains that organizations need to develop more self leaders—people who take responsibility for working together with their managers to set clear goals, diagnose development level, and get the day-to-day coaching they need to succeed.
“Our Situational Leadership® II program helps leaders understand that they need to be flexible and match their leadership style to the development needs of their direct reports. In our Self Leadership program, we teach individual contributors the mindset and skillset to communicate what they need. When direct reports can meet their leader halfway, the potential for achieving goals and peak performance improve exponentially.”
Fowler admits that seeing leadership as a partnership is going to require a mind shift in organizations—especially organizations that still see the primary responsibility for the performance management equation as being the manager’s sole responsibility.
“The focus on the manager as the seat of power is a relic of the old command-and-control approach to leadership,” Fowler explains. “When top leaders believe the only people who need training are those in a position of authority, it limits opportunities for creativity, innovation, and optimally motivated employees. Why not train both sides of the equation? Continue to invest in your managers, but leverage your investment by training the other side of the partnership—the direct reports. Don’t ignore half the equation. Make effective leadership everyone’s job.”
Would you like to learn more about leadership as a partnership? Join Susan Fowler for a free webinar!
Self-Leadership: The Rest of the Story
Online—September 28, 2017
In this webinar, best-selling author Susan Fowler reveals three key strategies for taking advantage of your organization’s greatest secret weapon–individual contributors. Research finds that organizations using Situational Leadership® II as the foundation of their leadership culture generate real results. But, current and compelling research also finds that success is maybe even more dependent on the proactive behavior and self leadership skills of individuals you depend on to execute and achieve organizational goals. The good news is that proactive self leadership is a trainable skill.
Susan Fowler will share how combining Situational Leadership® II training for managers with Self Leadership training for direct reports creates a 1 + 1 = 3 impact. Leadership is best served as a partnership. Managers and direct reports both have a role to play. Don’t suffer the opportunity loss of just training one half of the equation. Discover the power of equipping both managers and direct reports with the mindset and skillset to set goals, diagnose development level, and match leadership style. Learn the rest of the story for improving alignment, communication, and performance.
About the Author
David Witt is a Program Director for The Ken Blanchard Companies. He is an award-winning researcher and host of the companies’ monthly webinar series. David has also authored or coauthored articles in Fast Company, Human Resource Development Review, Chief Learning Officer and US Business Review.More Content by David Witt