You want to be a Leader. Before you make that next career move, figure out what it is you want to lead!
As a Career and Business Coach, I interact with professionals at different points in their careers, and different positions within the companies they currently or previously worked for. The vast majority of these people have risen through the ranks to hold positions of leadership within their organizations.
Many would look from the outside and make a generalized statement about how well these leaders are doing, how they have made it, how they are a natural leader, etc. It would surprise many to know that, as a group, many of these leaders are not happy with the role they are in.
The job of a leader has many dimensions. For today, I am going to separate those into two dimensions: Strategic or Operational.
An Operational Leader is going to be the person leading the team day-to-day. This will be the person we generally refer to as our immediate boss. The Operational Leader oversees the short-term management of the day-to-day. They are the person who makes sure you have what you need to do your job and that your job is done correctly. The Operational Leader measures past performance against future expectations. Many handle these functions very well. However, just as many do not like the day-to-day functions of the Operational Leader. These people prefer Strategic Leadership.
The Strategic Leader plots the course. They decide which new products will come to market this year versus next year. These Leaders look forward. They set direction and create the culture. They decide where to allocate the resources and when to cut back. These Leaders do not enjoy the day-to-day tasks of the Operational Leader.
Within the career coaching I provide to help candidates find THE PERFECT JOB, I coach many leaders in organizations. It intrigues me how many have been unhappy in a previous position. Often, through the process we find it is the difference between Operational and Strategic Leadership that determines if a person is happy in their role.
If you are contemplating a job or career change that includes leadership, please take some time to determine what type of a leadership position you are looking for. Being able to articulate that in an interview will put you above the rest of the pack and on your way to landing THE PERFECT JOB!