When it comes to the subject of how to grow capacity, the standard answer and the one we have explored in great detail during past From Vision to Action Executive Roundtables and in the From Vision to Action Leadership Training is that leaders grow capacity through growing clarity. Given the pace and speed of change in so many organizations this fall, a more in-depth answer is now needed.
As we all know, awareness turns into understanding when someone has a picture inside their head of optimal performance or what the goal looks like once achieved. Next, collaboration, which is critical to growing capacity, begins with the relationship someone has with others and their boss. Finally, commitment starts when people understand how their job makes a difference and they feel a part of something that is purposeful.
My two recent insights about growing capacity come from rereading James Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner’s book called A Leader’s Legacy. Jossey-Bass, 2006. As they note, the “single best predictor of career success [for an individual] is the relationship they had with their very first supervisor.” They also note that “... the most important leader is any organization is not the CEO or the head honcho; its the leader we see most often, the one we turn to when we need guidance and support.” As Kouzes and Posner remind us, the foundation for growing capacity start with healthy work relationships.
This week, pause and evaluate your key relationships at work. It may be time to move them to a new level and depth of interaction.