8 Steps To Transform Your Role From Management to Leadership
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8 Steps To Transform Your Role From Management to Leadership

8 Steps To Transform Your Role From Management to Leadership

As CMOs continue to move up in their organizations, it's no longer enough to manage their brand's marketing and advertising. Instead, it requires developing the skills to be a true leader in their company.

Managing, says Bruce Tulgan, is like staying in shape: it requires developing the habit of doing it every day. Anything less, says Tulgan, founder and CEO of RainmakerThinking, is under-management, "and it is costing you, your team, and your employer every single day."

While most managers fail to develop leadership skills, says Tulgan, "There are 8 steps anyone can take to become a highly engaged leader." In Tulgan's own words, here are summaries of those 8 steps, which he elaborates on more fully on his company's website. The article is also downloadable as an e-book.

1. Get in the habit of managing every day
Don't make the mistake of thinking you don't have enough time to manage your team every day - putting in that time up front will save you and everyone else so many headaches later on! Dedicate at least 1 hour of your time each day to managing.

2. Learn to talk like a performance coach
The number one thing to practice to become better at coaching as a manager is being specific: talk about work and performance using describing language, rather than naming language. Remember, this only works if you're spending the time to meet regularly with direct reports one-on-one.

3. Take it one person at a time
Everyone you manage will need a different kind of support from you. There is a simple tool managers can use to help them customize their management style for each person.

4. Make accountability a process, not a slogan
Creating accountability follows this basic framework: 1) Spell out clear expectations; 2) Define what a good job, bad job, and great job look like; 3) Establish next steps or a project plan; and 4) Tie rewards, and consequences, to the performance expectations you agreed on together.

5. Tell people what to do, and how to do it
Too many managers allow recurring performance problems to persist because they are uncomfortable with telling people how to perform certain tasks or responsibilities. Don't wait until someone has demonstrated a long track record of failure to start coaching their performance.

6. Track performance every step of the way
Tracking performance is difficult for most managers to keep up with, and it's understandable why. The key to success is having a simple system that can be routinely referenced and edited.

7. Solve small problems, before they turn into big ones
If you are engaged with your direct reports in ongoing, consistent one-on-one dialogues, then you are already doing the hardest part of the work necessary to stay on top of small problems. The second step is simply being confident enough to step in and make sure things are on the right track.

8. Do more for some people, and less for others, based on performance
Don't buy into the myth that fairness means treating everyone the same, regardless of their performance. You have limited resources with which to reward people, so do more for the people who are giving you their absolute best.

Published: March 12th, 2019

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