Today’s post is by Maureen Metcalf – a thoughtLEADERS instructor and author of The Innovative Leadership Fieldbook (which was the winner of Best Business Reference Book and a finalist in Best Business Book in the 2012 International Book Awards). You can learn more about her at the end of this post. Here’s Maureen:
As leaders, we innovate to improve our products and technology. We now have designer dogs and designer foods – we are surrounded by innovation. We can become overwhelmed with the number of innovations to the point that a simple trip to the store to buy “tennis shoes” no longer means going to the shoe aisle – now we go to a sporting goods store and have an entire section the size of a small shopping mall.
So, as you lead in the world of dramatic ongoing change an innovation, how do you manage the pace and the complexity? How do you maintain your effectiveness as a leader?
Let’s look at Bill, the CIO of a large company. He was at the top of his game when he took a job five years ago. He was recruited and enticed to leave his former company. Fast forward to today, he is now struggling to maintain his job. He is a fallen super hero. No more cape and attitude. Now he needs to rebuild the edge he lost.
He was so focused on doing the job and doing it well that he stopped developing. He was highly dedicated to the success of his company but overlooked the fact that doing the job is not enough. He needed to continue to develop his leadership skills.
If you are a world class athlete, you would not work out until you won the Olympics then stop working out until the next Olympics trials then be surprised that you “lost your edge.” Why as a leader would you expect to be the top of your game without continued focus? Test yourself to see if you have lost your edge: