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Five Things That Matter More When Leading Other Leaders

Here are five leadership behaviors that are essential for all leaders, and absolutely crucial for leaders who lead supervisors and other managers.

You may be thinking “I don’t lead leaders; I don’t need to read this.”

Even if you don’t (yet), there are three important reasons why you need to keep reading:

  • Some day you might lead leaders – and thinking about these ideas now is worth the minimal effort required.
  • You may want to share it with your boss or others to encourage and help them grow.
  • The points below apply to all of us; they just become even more important when we are in that more senior leadership position.

And if you do currently lead other leaders, keep reading and think about where you might want to take some action next . . .

There are five leadership behaviors, that while important for any leader, become more important as you are leading supervisors and other managers. Let’s talk about those behaviors and why they become increasingly important.

Coaching matters more. You might be tempted to think this matters less, after all now you are coaching people who have already been promoted to a supervisory or leadership position – you have the cream of the crop, right? That might be true, and, the need for coaching does grow. Because your leaders need to be better and better leaders, not just great individual contributors, your coaching is critical to helping them. Not only that, but as you already know, the role of leadership is complex and we all need support and a coach or mentor to help us when we have challenging situations.

Thinking matters more. Chances are you are running hard to balance your to-do list and juggle your calendar. If that is true, you need to refocus and re-adjust. Your organization needs you to do more than do more work – it needs you to think.  The popular word for this is to strategize – but I actually mean that and more. For leaders to really lead, we must make time to think about the direction of the team, the opportunities and challenges in front of them and what they personally need to be doing. You can’t do these things well in five minutes between meetings and while answering your email.

Your example matters more. As you advance in the leadership ranks you may think you need to improve your presentation skills and you would be right. And people are doing more than listening to your words, they are watching you. And as a leader further up in the organization, more people are watching, both directly and indirectly. Is your example the one you want people following? Time spent thinking about this and being more intentional about the big and little things you do (and yes, say), will have a significant positive outcome for your team.

Conversation matters more. Not more meetings - more conversations. There are likely some meetings you don’t need to go to – have you delegated effectively? And during the meetings you are attending - are you doing more talking or asking? Ask more, talk less. Shut up and listen. People have heard you talk, but have they seen you really listen? Conversations are created by an open exchange of ideas, challenges and opportunities. Your team needs you to do this – and model it for others.

Influence matters more. When you are a supervisor of a team, you can influence them more directly – you are interacting with them regularly. As you move up in the organization, your influence has greater reach and leverage, so it becomes more important. People are looking for those to influence them. Make sure it is you, and your influence is appropriate and positive.

There are other skills that may become more important to you as well, and this is a very important starter list. Take a minute, regardless of your leadership level, to think about which of these other skills could you, and those you leadPsychology Articles, most benefit from your further development.

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Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. You can learn more about him and a special offer on his newest book, Remarkable Leadership: Unleashing Your Leadership Potential One Skill at a time, at .

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