The leadership pipeline explains why we struggle when we change role, particularly in the early months of a promotion. Its lessons help you better understand and manage leadership transitions.
Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter and James Noel in their book, The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership-Powered Company (Jossey Bass 2001), outline the various career transitions or ‘passages’ undertaken by leaders as they progress through their careers. The model they have devised, called the ‘leadership journey’, is highly recommended reading if you are interested in progressing your career through to senior leadership roles.
According to the leadership journey model, individual careers invariably start at the ‘managing self’ stage. This is where you are responsible for building your own skills and abilities so as to contribute to your organisation’s output. Examples of ‘managing self’ could be a financial planner, an engineer, a receptionist or an accountant, all roles where you are primarily responsible for your own contribution. A next step in your career journey, ‘manage others’ is where your focus broadens to ensuring that other people contribute effectively. Then you will progress to ‘managing managers’.
The diagram below acknowledges that in the real world, there is not necessarily a linear flow from one stage to another.
At each point in your career you will need to abandon the tasks and activities that made you successful, to allow you to focus your time and efforts on the new role. For example, a sales person promoted to sales manager is progressing from managing self to managing others. To do this successfully, he or she needs to work beyond personal sales activity to the training, motivation and direction of others for team achievements. Drotter and Charan call this ‘taking the turn’.
FASTLEAD Coaching Team
THE LESSON FROM THE LEADERSHIP PIPELINE
The key to successfully transitioning from one passage to another is learning to adapt. Each new leadership passage requires a transition in values, behaviours and skills. How you elect to spend your time is crucial.
HELP US HELP YOUR LEADERSHIP SUCCESS
| CONVERSE WITH US
|| STAY WITH US
|| GET MORE FROM US
|| JOIN US
If you found this article
and website useful, feel
free to recommend them
Use the FASTLEAD Forum to give us feedback, share your career successes and disappointments, and ask
us for help.
|Sign up to receive the free monthly FASTLEADER newsletter that reveals
the latest developments
for emerging leaders.
|You'll love our practical guide for emerging leaders - the FASTLEAD A to Z of Leadership Success. Buy an e-book or hard copy today
||You can read, but practice makes perfect. Join the FASTLEAD program to
put yourself on the path to easier leadership success
|Click here for FASTLEAD Forum
|| Click here to subscribe
||Click here for book details
||Click here for FASTLEAD program