While leaders focus on the mission and concrete goals of their organizations, they simultaneously find themselves at another intersection. It involves their own personal ambitions and values, their private concerns, an analytic understanding of the organization, and management of organizational dynamics and politics.
A clear understanding of a range of critical factors and questions in the landscape of your own leadership is important to your success in the organization, your career and your life. Dr. Fisher works closely with leaders and leadership teams to explore the questions that are most important on their minds as well as raise questions that they may not have considered that prove important. The following questions represent a number of concerns that he has found are on the minds of his clients:
Personal Ambitions, Company and Personal Values: What is most meaningful in my professional life? What am I willing to support and where will I invest my energy? What do I want to accomplish in the long-term? What values drive my actions? Does my work fit my integrity and what I know to be true about myself? Am I comfortable that my work is not costing my family more than I feel is fair? What do I believe is important to accomplish in my career? What role does giving back to the community play in my consideration of running this company? Does my company act with integrity? Do I feel supported by my board or senior leadership in my decision making?
Personal Concerns: How do I understand my role? Where do I best fit? With what lens do I see? What are people’s impressions of me? What stands in my way? Do people think well of me? Is this a company where I can be myself and still succeed? What am I afraid of and what should I do about it if I am? What will happen to my job as change occurs? If I’m at risk, how can I mitigate the risk? Am I acting too slowly – quickly – subtly – forcefully? What do I do when corporate headquarters push me to sell work to a client that I don’t think is in the client’s best interest? What happens when I say no? Are the younger people in our company supported to grow? Are people treated fairly in our company?
Rational Analysis: What appears to be happening? What are the real causes, inside and outside the organization for the outcomes that I am seeing? Where do we agree, disagree and align? How well do I understand the strategy of the company? How well do I convey that understanding to my direct reports? Do I feel that sharing knowledge with my colleagues is important? Do I withhold information in deference to my own career? Do I know I don’t belong in this company culture? In this economy what should I be doing to keep myself safe?
What is the impact I should anticipate in making those choices?
Am I willing to hear bad news? Do I support the people that work with and for me? If I am not doing well, is there something I am doing to cause it?
Interpersonal and Organizational Politics: What are my relationships with others inside and outside the company? What are factors that lead to agreement, conflict, misalignment or alignment, and shift? How can I better understand and apply tools for consensus generation, alignment, conflict resolution, and negotiation?