By Goke Ilesanmi
Present-day businesses need to be productive, competitive and profitable. To achieve all these, an organisation needs to be effectively managed. Organisations would definitely not be in business for long if they cannot keep an eye on the bottom line while pushing for results. In order to create a successful business, there is need for great managers who understand their business, customers and their people and are able to take the information and use it to mould results.
Getting managers with a perfect blend of different types of skills or qualities is difficult. Therefore, what an orgnanisation needs to do is to decide which results are most important to it, determine which skills best match its needs and consider asking the related questions in the course of hiring its managers. Organisations must therefore look for individuals with the best mix of attributes and skills, especially corporate catalysts.
Corporate catalysts are those who want to influence others to think effectively and generate unexpected and improbable results. They operate behind the scenes and do not get the glory their less productive counterparts receive, and yet they feel satisfied. A corporate catalyst serves as both a highly effective manager and leader. One skill set applied without the other is insufficient. Leadership means influencing how other people think in a way that generates better sustainable results for your organisation and the individuals in it. Management means converting the collective resources into better results.
Dan Coughlin, a facilitator who has provided more than 800 executive coaching sessions and 400 presentations on leadership, management, innovation, strategy and branding says these people do not see corporations as sleazy places where they have to act unethically to succeed. Instead they view corporations as places to do meaningful work and make an extraordinary difference for their customers and fellow employees.
This is why some people perceive them as the most valuable employees in their organisations. Corporate catalysts are tremendous influencers and effective managers who produce results in their organisation’s most important business outcomes through constant innovation, common sense, strong character and through building relationships while avoiding corporate errors.
Challenges of today’s CEOs
Today’s chief executive officers (CEOs) need to be corporate catalysts themselves, ensure availability and reproduction of catalysts in their workplace and create an environment in which people can perform at the highest level of their potential. Though, they still face the daunting tasks of innovative and aggressive recruiting, creation of developmental opportunities for promoting executives and retention of highly-talented, motivated and productive teams. The people component of a business model is intricately woven into the corporate fabric: in its infrastructure, its operations, its culture, its message to the market and indeed, its very significance in the market.
Meredith Ashby and Stephen Miles, co-editors of Leaders Talk Leadership assert that those CEOs that have not questioned whether their companies are attracting, developing and retaining good people simply are not doing their company and the stakeholders justice. In other words, companies whose leaders have not translated the recognition that their people are a tremendous source of competitive advantage into action are highly unlikely to be enjoying a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Creative and influential leadership is the foundation of all great companies.
Set of soft skills
Part of the soft skill set for corporate leaders today is agility. Decisions need to be made quickly, and teams have to be pulled together fast. This effort requires extreme agility, and not many people are blessed with it. In fact, research shows that why many CEOs and division presidents fail is that they cannot respond quickly enough to changing market conditions.
In addition to decisiveness and agility, there are basically other skills that are determinants of success. One of them is capacity. John Thompson, vice chairman of Heidrick & Struggles International says capacity comes in many forms: innately, it is your knowledge and basic intellect. No amount of training or experience will help a person who lacks the intellectual capacity or who does not have a certain amount of innate ability in a given arena. Capacity also encompasses the experiences, both positive and negative, which teach and train you how to manage and how to handle the circumstances you encounter as a senior executive.
Another key soft skill that successful leaders possess is motivation. Successful leaders have a passion for building teams and organisations. Motivation is something you can help people with by giving incentives, but it is not a definitive skill that can be acquired through training. Unlike capacity, you either have motivation or not.
The final skill we probably look for most of all in leaders is authenticity. It is saddening that it is only few people that are universally acknowledged to possess this quality. Among senior executives, charisma is derived from authenticity, that is, whom that person is when you talk with him or her and when he or she is elsewhere. As Thompson puts it, “An authentic, charismatic business leader is someone who is consistent and not a sort of chameleon, changing colours for certain groups…For companies of all sizes, the implications of the new demands and stresses on their leaders seem crystal clear: in the realm of human capital management, the time has come to translate lip service into action.”
For your organisations to succeed, you need corporate catalysts. If you lack this type of people, you need to try all your best to have them for your workplace to thrive because they are real leaders. In the corporate environment, everything rises and falls on leadership. And your organisation cannot afford to have a reckless driver behind the steering wheel. Get a good leader, a corporate catalyst, to pilot affairs of your organisation today.
GOKE ILESANMI, Editor-in-Chief/CEO of https://www.gokeilesanmi.com.ng and Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is a Certified Public Speaker/Emcee, (Business) Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker, Career Management Coach, Renowned Book Reviewer, Corporate Leadership Expert and Editorial Consultant.
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