Michael Watkins in the June issue of Harvard Business Review wrote a great article on “How Managers Become Leaders”. In his article he identifies seven seismic shifts of perspective and responsibility a person must make when they become an enterprise leader.
1. Specialist to Generalist
Understand the mental models, tool, and terms used in key business functions and develop templates for evaluating the leaders of those functions.
2. Analyst to Integrator
Integrate the collective knowledge of cross-functional teams and make appropriate trade-offs to solve complex organizational problems.
3. Tactician to Strategist
Shift fluidly between the details and the larger picture, perceive important patterns in complex environments, and anticipate and influence the reactions of key external players.
4. Bricklayer to Architect
Understand how to analyze and design organizational systems so that strategy, structure, operating models, and skill bases fir together effectively and efficiently to make need organizational changes.
5. Problem Solver to Agenda Setter
Define the problems the organization should focus on, and spot issues that don’t fall neatly into any one function but are still important.
6. Warrior to Diplomat
Proactively shape the environment in which the business operates by influencing key external constituencies.
7. Supporting Cast Member to Lead Role
Exhibit the right behaviors as a role model for the organization and learn to communicate with and inspire large groups of people both directly and, increasingly, indirectly.
If you are moving from “manager” to “leader”, which of these shifts do you need to develop or act on?