For me, being a leader of leaders comes with many lessons learned. First, if you have leaders who report to you, recognize that all are in different phases of their leadership development cycle. Many who are given leadership responsibilities have not had the benefit of the successes or failures that come with experience. Secondly, only those who exhibit strong leadership potential should be placed in management and leadership positions; and along the way, they must understand they are expected to be or become great leaders. And lastly, we must understand where each person is on their leadership journey. Where there is a need, we must mentor/educate and provide leadership directly. The ultimate goal in being a leader of leaders is that we have a stable of proven leaders, and part of that is filling in and doing some servant leadership to make sure we are supporting them and their team as they grow.
Focusing on this last point a bit more……..a well rounded leader has all the following in check when it comes to their people: 1. Trust/Relationships; 2. Accountability/Inspection; 3. Awareness; 4. Ability to motivate; 5. Accurate assessment of issues/opportunities; 6. Clear goals and mutual commitment; and…… 7. a healthy team culture. All of these are pre-requisites to being respected as a leader. Now look at those you lead and grade them as if you were a member of their team. As a leader of leaders, it is our responsibility to have this level of awareness. It is a mistake to think that by putting someone in a leadership position, that they have it all figured out and are able to provide all the leadership needed right out of the gate. They should be able to experience their own failures, but they need us to be aware of where they need coaching and support, and we need to make sure that while they grow we continue contributing so that they and their team receive the level of leadership deserved.