Leadership Is A Profession

Being called upon to lead teams is increasingly common in all organizations today. Yet success in leading teams does not happen by itself. Everyone knows that leading teams effectively does not happen over night.  Those who have been moved ‘up the ladder’ into managerial positions from being individual contributors or subject matter experts, often find themselves totally and completely unprepared for the job of leading others.  This is because they simply do not know how to do the job of leading.  And why should they?  Leading others is not the profession for which they have been educated or trained.

I often wonder about ‘leadership’ and the ways that organizations typically select their managers.  It appears that as a person excels in their own area of expertise they often become a candidate for moving up in the organization; and ‘up,’ generally means – management, which demands its own very specific skill set.

Would you hire a chemist to be a carpenter?

I believe we are not paying attention to the fact that leadership is a profession. It is not an add-on. It does not happen by promotion. It requires skill, discipline, training, understanding and commitment.

In a world in which leaders are increasingly required to engage and enroll others in work and align the workforce with the mission of their organization, the need to be aware, intentional, and strategic about how leaders communicate becomes crucial to achieving results and accomplishing goals.

To become an effective leader, an individual needs to be educated in the many ‘arts’ of leading people, including the arts of:

  • Creating Clarity
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Building Community,
  • And, from this foundation, the art of Getting to Results