Research demonstrates that business managers at higher stages of development are more effective at work, says leadership coach and author Rob McNamara. For greater “command”, “agility”, and “influence”, managers ought to attend to their own growth.
In “Agile Leaders—More Maturity, More Options”, he writes:
For those of you who approach your work with the intention to improve and accomplish the tasks your job demands of you, your aims are insufficient. Merely responding to the demands that are coming at you in your professional environment–and perhaps even doing so faster or more precisely—is not the definition of agile leadership. Many people misunderstand this.
First, agility in leadership depends on on a self-directed or “self-authoring” capability.
Yes, you should drive hard to achieve desired outcomes, but your self-chosen values should be your ultimate guide for how you pursue these aims. In other words, your leadership agility depends upon whether your actions are directed by your values or the ones around you—your boss’, or the organizational culture you find yourself in.
Instead of merely responding to the demands that are given to you, I’d like to urge you to pause and reflect on yourself, who you are and what ultimately serves your personal integrity?
Ask yourself, What values do you stand for? What behaviors do you stand against and oppose? Investigate why and clarify what matters most to you.
Next, if you have already mastered the ability to execute from your personally authored values, I’d also like to invite you to pause. The challenge that emerges with being value-driven is that we can often lack a larger situational awareness. To develop more agility, I encourage you to step back in the moment and attend directly to a larger aperture of experience. Practice seeing your feelings. What you are doing and how well you’re doing the activities of your job may only be the surface of your job. Dive beneath and sense into how you feel in the activities of your job. Sense behind or underneath the behaviors you are doing. Become curious about the implicit assumptions that you may not see without your greater curiosity.
This added level of self-awareness enables you learn and adapt faster. Ultimately, assumptions cut off important data flows. Information that may need to get into your attention is cut off when you make assumptions. Sense deeply into your work and yourself with curiosity. This is going to enable you to create contexts and processes that are more meaningful and more effective over time.
Read more at Ten Directions.