You are an extremely talented and well-educated order taker manager. You’ve been around the management business block a time or two. You know your stuff.
You are champing at the bit to lead your team out of the darkness of What Was and Is and into the light of What is Possible.
Corporate leadership has turned you into an order taker, like your predecessor. You are stifled by corporate silos and limited mindset.
You were extremely jazzed about taking on your position. However reality has set in.
The functional role you deliver on is the hand-off of leadership strategy for execution by the folks you manage. Your functional role is a manager, albeit a high-level manager. Regardless of your job title.
You could be playing a critical role in leading your organization towards greater operational efficiency and profitability. You could be creating new markets and greater respect for your company by forging unique industry relationships.
Yet you are regarded as a manager. Leadership second-guesses and micromanages you instead of confidently letting you manage yourself and others. Instead of allowing you fulfill your role.
That is not healthy.
You realize your wings have been clipped. But just when did that happen? How did you allow it?
Your ability to allocate resources on projects to catalyze your team are thwarted. You have been relegated to Keeper of the Status Quo: an order taker manager.
You have a vision for your team. You are concerned that taking that first step forward, moving one millimeter out of your comfort zone, will be perceived as making an end run.
You are torn. You are more concerned about preserving your job than opening that can of worms.
You perceive human capital shortfalls and attitudinal obstacles to driving change in your department. You are ready to lead by example. You are ready to employ who you need today to build your company’s tomorrow.
Yet taking that risk, and opening that next can of worms, is daunting.
Your company has no sense of urgency to change a recipe from Yesterday that still seems to be working Today.
Except that you have vision. You can see what Tomorrow will bring.
You are proactive by nature. You are not comfortable when things are comfortable. You are hardwired to be a planner and strategist.
Your company is engaged in busy work. You foresee that sales are slowly slipping backward. Now is the time for proactive management on your part.
What will your choice be? Order-taker manager or manager-leader?
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Babette Ten Haken writes, speaks, consults and coaches about collaborative value creation for customer success and customer retention. She connects the dots between strategy and execution. She works across leadership, human capital / HR and technical/IT/engineering teams within the industrial Internet of Things ecosystem. Her focus? Creating enduring business outcomes. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.
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