Managing and Mentoring Leadership Strategies

By Maria Forbes
July 7, 2016

Critical Timing of Two Leadership Strategies

Our work with entrepreneurial leaders has two phases; initially our role is planner and facilitator of team engagement and then as team strengths are developed and consistently aligned we become an engagement advisor. Regular Progress Check Conversations help leaders to make necessary tweaks in leadership strategies and the process helps leaders to know when to transition from manager to mentor. The timely transition of leadership focus has a make-or-break influence on small business performance. Leaders need the right approach at the right time.
The Right Time
As our clients make the mental leap from a structure of job holders to one of contributor roles, leadership strategies must coincide with every stage of the transition. In the early stages of forming a strengths-based organization, previously untapped abilities are validated and members are dependent upon leaders to continually reinforce alignment of personal strengths with growth goals. Leaders manage the resulting new energy and the integration of individual strengths into collective firepower.  Through consistent attention to alignment between people and process, the business culture begins to shift and new energy fuels growth.  Through regular dialogue a natural shift in business culture encourages personal and professional development that lends measurable value to organizational growth.
When individuals feel empowered they take initiative to perform their best.  This is a time-sensitive aspect of organizational growth and sustainability.  If leaders provide too much freedom too early, individuals will default to job-holder status. Readiness should be assessed, engagement illustrated, understood and agreed to, before leaders can expect engaged teams to thrive without their central influence.  As an engaged culture takes root in the minds of its individuals, leaders begin to observe their members taking self motivated actions. They demonstrate new motivation toward growth goals based on a clear understanding of their personal potential in the plan. To provide the freedom to contribute, leaders should consider questions rather than answers to growth goals. Mentoring helps individuals explore personal capabilities through the freedom to define and communicate appropriate contributions.  Sequentially they take the reins, experience the outcomes of their actions, and shape their best contribution to shared growth. When owners and partners want to ensure long term performance, secure employee retention, and ultimately prepare for retirement from their business, the timely transition from managing people and process, to mentoring business success, is imperative.

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