Who Is Your Biggest Competitor?

I am kicking off a series of blog posts talking about challenges I see in coaching successful leaders looking to “up their game”.  We use the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook as the foundation for much of our approach.  This first post talks about leaders who are too competitive within their small group.

Our leader is being groomed for a senior leadership role in a major university. He is known for getting significant results often with limited financial resources and little political support. Now that he is moving into a more visible role, his prior behaviors will no longer serve him.

In this case, he took a 360 degree assessment that gave numeric scores and written comments from his boss, peers, and subordinates. He learned from this that his aggressive tactics have undermined him with his peers. They saw him as acting in his personal interest and the interest of his immediate team over the interest of the broader department. He used the feedback and insight to become much more aware of his actions and the impact they have on how others view him.

Based on what he learned during the assessment phase, he took action.  He made significant progress in rebuilding several key relationships and is also building a broader base of support across the university. His self-awareness provided him the foundation to make very different choices in how he relates to peers and people who will become his peers when he is promoted.

Result:  he is much more of a team player, considering the needs of the group and how he can work with others to accomplish a much broader goal than the ones he was accomplishing only a few months ago.  During a recent feedback discussion with one of his key stakeholders, he got very positive feedback about the changes others are seeing and the increased impact he is having across the organization.

Who do you define as your competition? Is it your coworkers? Your subordinates? What would happen to your business relationships and organizational success if you look more broadly at who is “in your circle” and who your competition really should be?

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

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