With the leadership role comes a change of perspective: the focus is no longer on your own success, but on the realization that it depends on the success of others.
Success has many faces and does not mean the same for everyone. While some associate it with a career and social prestige, others measure their success by whether and how many degrees of freedom they enjoy. Others associate it with a single event (customer pitch), while some associate it with a process (language learning). Obviously, success does not exist - it is rather subjectively defined.
Nevertheless, success in the operational environment is usually depicted as a measurable variable. This allows it to be compared - over time or with others - and gives the impression of being directly influenceable. This is why in most companies this variable is also found in the target structure: turnover, profit, EBIT, market share, NPS, users, downloads.
It is probably rather strange to measure whether and how quickly superiors develop their employees so that they can replace them. Or how easily employees can expand their competencies. Management rarely looks at the (necessary) successes behind the successes. That is why you should pay attention to them.
How helpful are employee surveys in this context? Often they hardly trigger serious concern or substantial changes. In most cases, they set off a spiral of justification that spits out a catalog of cosmetic measures that are prescribed unspecifically and across the board. But such deficit-oriented actions rarely promote the erotica behind the success. Rather, they prevent a sinking from the status quo.
Success rarely falls from the sky. They rather build on earlier successes.
Enable success behind success by realizing the creative potential of your employees. This creates a positive climate, knowledge is proactively exchanged and solutions are found together. These approaches will help you to do so:
How do you know your strengths? When, where and how did they emerge? You will find answers in your biography: Which persons have you supported? How did they behave and how did they deal with you? In workshops with leaders, it is repeatedly shown that despite all the differences, most people respond in a similar way: “Person X believed in me”, “I was thrown in at the deep end, but I could always turn to person X”, “Person X had my back, even if something went wrong at times”.
- Your development has been taken seriously.
- You were not spared, but supported.
- They encouraged your commitment and were willing to accept mistakes.
In other words: create opportunities for employees and observe where they direct their attention, what comes of it and how it can be used. Because only realized potentials point to further, new potentials. You are thus starting an upward spiral. If you do not create opportunities for others, they will stop. You too.
Unfortunately, leading companies rarely use the successes they have achieved for further steps. They often focus on the next tasks, set new goals and destroy learning effects. Take the time to talk to your employees about what you have achieved. Rely on the “process of insight”. It consolidates the new skills and strengthens the self-confidence to face new challenges. Before you go on, sit down with the teams and ask these two questions:
- What have we learned as a team? To what extent does this make us “better”?
- Why did we learn? What are important prerequisites?
By the way, the discussion that then follows not only promotes the necessary insights into how successes behind the successes are made possible. It also promotes the courage and the desire for new steps and goals.