Senior leaders have many expectations placed on them and as a result may have competing priorities. A senior leader’s first allegiance is to the organization. That is, their priorities must align with the needs of the business to ensure expectations and goals are met. In most cases, a senior leader can’t meet their goals without the support of their team. However, managing their team successfully can be a competing priority.
Unfortunately, senior leaders are doing a balancing act and at times are unable to find their balance. They need to wear many hats and fulfill several roles at once. This is where the great leaders are separated from good leaders. The leader who meets their own goals and performance expectations is certainly recognized as an important asset to the organization. However, if this is accomplished at the expense of meeting the needs of their staff, then there is an unfilled gap.
What direction is given to senior leaders in how they should support their team? Can a senior leader successfully oversee a team of direct reports and manage their own day-to-day operations? Organizations must provide the training and professional development a leader needs to manage, nurture and support a team.
Teams need a leader. Teams need direction. Teams need to interact with all team members. Teams need a strategy for continual growth and development. It is important for employees to believe in and be confident of their manger and senior leaders of the organization. This supports employee engagement and drives individuals to meet expectations and goals.
In many cases, a senior leader becomes a leader because of the work they’ve done, or their insight and vision. Inheriting a team often isn’t one of their strongest qualities. This often starts at a mid-manager level and follows a leader into a senior role.
Organizations must recognize the importance of the senior leader role in managing and motivating others. The successful development of senior leaders as team leaders is crucial in driving individual and organizational success.