As I write this, 2015 is only 52 days old. To me, it seems like it’s been a thousand days since the ball dropped. But that’s good – really good actually.
Let me ask you this: Have there been times when you have experienced day after day turning into a week after week of high impact individual and / or team performance? And by the time you reflect and catch your breath, it feels that months have passed? Yes? Great feeling, right?
That is exactly what I am talking about. Just this past week, despite the snowstorms that seemed to follow me through my amazing conversations with brilliant executives in NYC, Washington DC, Chicago, Detroit (and not so snowy Dallas) all the way back to Denver…where it’s just starting to fall. The best part? Everyone I talked to and worked with had an incredible attitude in spite of multitudes of disruptions in their day-to-day lives caused by one of biggest snowstorms in recent memory.
Excellence is a process, not just an outcome. Sure, we have to hold out for high standards in the products or services we provide. The goods must be more than “good enough.” But so must our approach – you know, our methodology, the way we do business and deal with people. How could the ends be considered excellent if we can’t be proud of the means? “~ Price Pritchett, Ph.D.
When your days are consistently (right) action packed, with strategic planning and a high-impact structure approach, success just follows you – and that is very attractive, reflecting your expertise posture and overall confidence level. And before you know it, this affects everyone and everything around you!
Let us explore the shifts and positive changes that have taken place in recent years within the C-Suite and how this change may be applicable to you:
1.0 C-Suite Era – “The Early Years” This may seem like a million years ago, but in reality I’m talking about the 1920’s. Long before the IBM and Microsoft era of technological innovations, small and then larger enterprises began to form centralized leadership groups. These teams (almost always comprised of men) managed resource allocation, critical thinking, performance monitoring and overall execution. Quite impressive for that time, don’t you think?
This may feel in 2015 like a million years ago, right? But in all a reality this was not long ago when formation and foundation of the leadership system were configured and replicated over the time across the globe. It was less than 100 years ago, dating back to early 1920s.
2.0 C-Suite Era – Also Known as “Divide and Conquer Era” reflected a new concept of globalization (many are still unclear what this is like). Beginning in the 1970’s, people began to believe that because of technology, the world was shrinking. Time also seemed to speed up, creating greater demands on the C-Suite due to rapid demands and increasingly visible roles in the organization and the outside world. (Think Chrysler’s CEO, Lee Iacocca).
“The next-generation C-suite must transcend functional boundaries to secure enhanced alignment and coherence, without defaulting back to the command-and-control arrangements of a bygone era” ~ Eamonn Kelly, Deloitte Consulting LLP
3.0 C-Suite Era – Or known to some as “ Holistic Leadership” era! Yes, it is happening right now. And if you are not paying close attention: your organization, including the board of the directors, and advisory teams in silos, will have a hard time on catching on. Why?
The gap between executive leadership teams in organizations is getting wider due to high demands of specialized and function-deep skill sets of newly formed roles. The C-Suite is also getting bigger (just look at the new CXO acronyms), organizational charts are more complex and the decision-making process is often taking too long and delaying an execution.
What is wrong with this picture and why?
The three main areas that 3.0 C-Suite is struggling with today, may surprise you:
#1: Get permission to execute – Yes, you heard me correctly! Through large or small niche consulting firms that are assisting their Fortune 500 clients, CEO’s are under more pressure than ever to make a decision and better yet to execute them. The scope of their work and level of involvement increased significantly since the late ’80 according to Harvard Business School.
This is not because they are not capable to operate on their own but getting that green light, however hard the decision, may be harder sometimes than you may think. Timing, CXO’s consensus, a board of the directors approval, or simply perceived obstacles to executing can create a state of unexpected “stand by’s” like during this winter storm.
Can you relate to that as a small and medium business owner and decision maker?
“Too much attention on problem kills our faith in possibilities.” ~ Price Pritchett, Ph. D.
#2: Use of power and influence – This time, we are talking about different power and influence Champions! Not based on how big your company may be and where it ranks on Fortune 500 list. It is about the use of effective, timely and relevant power and influence catching on slowly but surely.
How? Why? What? You may be surprised that a “holistic” approach to solutions within the organization and with clients are new additions to key objectives of service delivery on 3.0 organizational change plans. But some organizations, unfortunately, are still struggling to be holistic and act holistically – This is, by offering highly customized service solutions vs. cookie cutter quick fix and flip client interventions.
“If it is a wrong or unnecessary thing to do, who cares how well you can do it! You are wasting two most precious assets: time and energy!” ~ The World Messenger
#3: Build new Costumer Centered relationships – Act like your life depends on developing your talent within the organization to be more aliened with your vision and your customer needs – because it does! By making sure that your employees are empowered to take immediate action – you are automatically nurturing and protecting the organization’s most critical strategic and tactical capabilities necessary to succeed with your customer-centered relationship. This time, you are going beyond “core competencies” as beautifully described by Hamel and Prahalad.
According to IBM’s 10-year Global C-Suite study,
“The ability to engage, develop, recognize and support employees will be critical in the decisive battle for customer loyalty.”
Allowing your team members to have needed time and extra space to respond and craft engaging customized client experiences, through agile and innovate customized solutions, will significantly define a success of your organization today and tomorrow.
In the end, if it takes you so much effort to win a new relationship with a new customer, why not to nurture that relationship by keeping them engaged through a long-term strategic plan?
Leave a Legacy – Legacy that matters! Be a Legend – Your legendary way!
Please share your thoughts, ideas, inspirations, challenges, and solutions – I read and respond to all of your comments. By sharing some of your experiences and words of wisdom from your own journey on the path of legacy leadership in your own unique legendary way – You are assisting others!
Learn… Lead… Love… Izabela Lundberg (@IzabelaLundberg) is CEO and Founder of Izabela Lundberg International. She is an Executive Consultant, Trainer & Speaker for Fortune 500 and Professional Athletes & Coaches. She is #1 International Best Selling Author & Leading Authority of Leadership Transformation From Fear to Greatness. Drawing on her extensive global business management, diversity, and high-performance impact expertise through her work with people from over 80 countries, Izabela also writes and speaks on topics such us Strategic Leadership & Influence, Legacy Leadership, & #HighPerformance #Impact.