Leadership is often seen as something that is connected to a top-down hierarchy. This is a logical way of looking at leadership; after all, we often use the term leadership to reflect this. A CEO leads a company, a prime minister leads the cabinet, an officer leads the troops. The way we use words, creates the way we perceive its meaning.
However, there is more to leadership than just the hierarchical way of leading. Leadership is a behaviour that we all display and accept, some more consistently than others. We are all leaders in the areas where we feel confident. You are a leader in your profession; you lead yourself, your colleagues, your customers and your partners in your work. You are a leader at home and among your friends. During other moments, you allow yourself to be led by others and you also accept their leadership in certain areas.
In alliances we need to lead as well. Both during the creation phase and during the management phase. We often talk about alliance management. It might be better to talk about alliance leadership instead. We need to be active in driving our business collaborations: we need to lead. Then there are situations where it is good to let someone else take the lead. Situations where our partner might be better equipped, because of knowledge or experience. In these situations we can proactively invite them to take the lead.
Proactively allowing someone else to lead the way is also an act of leadership.
When it comes to personal behaviours and characteristics you always have to lead yourself. In these situations it can never be the other person. Think about habits like integrity, honesty, trustworthiness; you will need to lead in a positive way and demonstrate your integrity, your honesty and your trustworthiness. There are ineffective habits that hold us back too. In his book “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”* Marshall Goldsmith describes twenty ineffective habits that hold leaders back from being more effective. Have a look at this list and see which ones you are guilty of, or better still, ask your significant other for an honest observation. Then, pick one or two habits you want to change, once you’ve done this, you’ll be off on your own personal leadership development journey.
Changing our behaviour and getting rid of our ineffective habits is not easy. This journey takes time and conscious effort and becomes easier when others provide help by sharing their observations and input. The Alliance Leadership Coaching programme helps alliance leaders and their teams to become the best they can be, as recognised by their stakeholders. We do this by identifying one or two development goals and by involving stakeholders for their own improvement suggestions. At the end of the programme you will have developed your alliance leadership effectiveness and created a better relationship with your stakeholders.
Perhaps you’ve already identified your own ineffective habit or even habits! Maybe you’ve eradicated these habits entirely – I’d love to hear how you modified your leadership behaviour, why not drop me a line?
Interested to learn more about Alliance Leadership development? Click here to schedule an exploratory call with me.