“I can’t seem to effectively manage the complexity and ambiguity of my business. It’s a moving target, and just when I think I’ve got matters under control, it gets away from me.” What’s really being said here? The pivotal word is… control.
Managers are generally successful because they are in control of their business. They become proficient at the technical requirements, sharpen their decision-making capabilities, then wrap their arms around their business to control what’s done; leading to success. But as these managers are promoted to higher profile roles, (Director, Vice President, President), and broader responsibilities with more ambiguity, they find they’re unable to exercise the same control. Those who try to use their original formula for success find themselves overworked, disempowering of their staff, and frustrated.
These now Senior managers/executives, at least those willing to reinvent themselves or at least make significant changes to how they “lead” rather than merely manage the business, learn that influence; is the new control. Influence of their staff, their boss, their peers, and their customers. They shift their mind-set. It’s now not about how much they hold on to (control), but rather how much they let go (empower others and influence their actions, development and behaviours).
It may be counter-intuitive; a bit like the old adage of the more you give the more you get back… but it works. Once the executive realizes and embraces the concept, practices and refines their own influencing capabilities, and leverages the power of influence; they effectively graduate from Management to Leadership.