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Desperate for Leadership Development by Jim Ramerman
  • Jim Ramerman
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I met with a leader this morning who was desperate for leadership development.

She had been a successful individual contributor in a professional services firm for over fifteen years.  Then, the firm had gone through a series of acquisitions and had assigned her the role of office manager for a group of 20.

And she had never, ever, had formal or informal training on how to be a supervisor, a manager or a leader. No mentoring. No conferences. Nothing.

So…desperate. So desperate.

Several of the staff had complained to corporate about her. And so, she had committed to engage in leadership coaching.

Where to start? I asked her, and she asked herself, several questions:

  • What does my staff need? How do I find out what they need?
  • What do I need – to be clear and confident as a leader?
  • What is leadership, anyway? How is that different from management and supervision?
  • How do I handle being in middle management – with expectations from the staff and without clear support or resources from senior leadership?
  • How do I show the staff that I’m on their side when they don’t feel or believe that I am?

What the leader needed to know was – well, several things, including:

  1. This is common – many people in positions of leadership have never, ever, had training to be a leader.
  2. With sustained effort and a clear focus on a short list of leadership development areas – that real difference can and will be experienced by her as the leader as well as by the staff.
  3. I, as her executive coaching would provide, listening, confidentiality, presence, support, resources and thinking partnership. Especially partnership in the journey to build skills, rebuild relationships on the staff, enhance confidence and build a team culture where “people look forward to coming to work” and know that “their manager is: committed to them; acting as their advocate with corporate; and creating genuine one to one relationships with them as an approachable leader”.

These are her goals – and I’m honored to help her achieve them. She’s committed to a year of intense work. And I thoroughly believe she will make a difference in her organization and become a different person and an effective leader who helps her team with real achievement.

Achievement driven by desperation.