Insights from practitioners in Information Management

Issue 113 – The next generation of leaders

No matter which HR magazine I pick up and read, no matter what the date on the cover is, they are all saying pretty much the same thing.  

There is a lack of skilled workers in certain areas, and:

The second point they like to make is that who will take the place of the boomers when they retire? While they were predominantly talking about the “workers” I would like to widen that to include the leaders and the educators too. Who will lead the next generation? Who will be around to teach them?

I know I can sound like a cracked record when it comes to personal and professional development, but it is important. Actually make that vital if we are going to be the ones who will step up to the plate and slot into the top spots.

As you know, we are now at the end of April. That means we are a third of the way through 2013 – already.

•Have you been on any courses?
•Have you implemented the ideas?
The current crop of managers and the leadership teams are always trying to find better / cheaper / hopefully more elegant ways of doing things. But they can’t do everything themselves, they need people who can take initiative and present solutions rather than problems. And you do that by constantly improving yourself and your thinking and sharing your ideas.

While you ponder those questions, I’d like to throw in a few more.

•What time do the top people start?
•What time do they finish?
•What time do you start and finish?
•What time do your colleagues start and finish?
•What do you do first?
There is a reason for the 20 questions.

Most managers, CEO’s, CIO’s, CFO’s etc I know start early. They get to their office and prepare their day. They do this, so that when the rest of the office / company straggles in they’ve had an hour or two of quiet time to get the important things done.

As you can imagine, a day filled with constant noise and interruption does not lend itself to productivity, let alone creativity. And we need to create in order to succeed. And the higher up the ladder we climb the more creative we need to be, which is why quiet time is important.

I get in early so I can miss the traffic, get computers loaded, to do lists created, reading completed and writing started. The more mundane jobs I do when the office is full, and the phones are ringing.
I know a lot of you who read these newsletters may feel they are too low on the ladder to warrant being that early, or to worry about finding creative solutions to problems. But I would argue the earlier you begin the practices of emulating the leaders, the faster you will rise, and the sooner you will be ready to slot into the spots left by the leavers. We all have someone we report to, we all have jobs that must be done in a day, but you can work around it. There are always time slots in a day when you can work on your future selves.

How do you do that?

•Read what they read – how do you know? Ask them for suggestions. Read it, then ask for some more.
•Dress like they do. Taking care of the little details, means you will take care with everything including clients.
•Organise your day – either before you go home the night before, or arrive early enough to do it before you start.
•Ask them if there is anything they would like you to do. Then do it, and report back. Be the go to person who gets things done.
Unless you are happy doing what you’ve always done of course. But don’t complain if the people who do what you won’t get ahead.

Kind Regards