經理人如何成為領導人

How Managers Become Leaders
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影片載入中...
要想從事業部層級的經理人,躍升為總公司層級的高階主管,你的領導風格就必須有一些關鍵性的改變。這支影片說明應做出哪些改變。

很少有職涯轉換的困難程度,高於從事業單位層級的經理人,躍升到總公司層級的高階主管。職涯轉換專家麥可.瓦金斯,訪談了高階主管領導力導師和人力資源專家,找出新領導人必須做出的七個關鍵改變,才能成功轉換。他稱之為地震式轉變。首先我們來談最常見的陷阱之一:過度管理你熟悉的職能,而對其他職能管理不足。

從專才轉變為通才,表示你應克制留在舒適區的渴望。以高階銷售主管尤瑟夫為例。他任職於歐洲某家化學公司,原本擔任銷售和行銷副總裁,管理兩百人的團隊,後來晉升為塑膠樹脂事業部負責人,領導超過三千名員工。他感覺沒有方向、缺乏信心,因此剛上任時堅持做自己最了解的事情。但公司在他身邊安排了一支經驗豐富的團隊,他們給他直率的回饋意見。

有位顧問告訴他:「你把你的銷售副總逼瘋了!你必須放手!」這個團隊也針對他缺乏經驗的一些關鍵領域,指供指導。總公司層級的高階主管,必須了解公司所有職能部門的次文化、指標和語言,熟悉各部門用來解決業務問題的工具。在你不具備專業知識的領域,你必須學會提問。

第二個轉變,是從分析師轉為整合者。事業單位領導人管理從事具體業務活動的人員。但總公司層級領導人的職責,是整合各個職能團隊的集體知識,以解決組織問題。在尤瑟夫的案例中,他的銷售副總想推出一個新產品上市,但他的營運主管擔心,產量提升的速度不夠快。為了解決這類衝突,尤瑟夫必須平衡不同職能的需求,考量這對季度業績和長期投資的影響,以及弄清楚分別應投入多少注意力在執行與創新上。

在整體企業層級,了解各種取捨和有效解釋決策,是領導人最重要的技能之一。對許多領導人來說,專注於戰術性議題非常誘人,因為活動是具體的,結果也立即可見。人們很容易迷失在各項日常活動中,包括參加會議、解決問題、推動專案完成。但領導人的角色,是成為策略總指揮。

從戰術家轉換為戰略家,需要三個關鍵技能:層次轉換,意味知道何時應專注在細節或全局,以及這兩者之間的關係;模式辨識,需要看出複雜環境中的重要因果關係;心理刺激,也就是要預料到,外界各方如競爭對手、法規監理機構和媒體,會如何回應你做的事。從砌磚工人轉換為建築師,常導致人們失敗。

新的高階主管往往會向前衝鋒,急切想做出成績。他們可能會打破現狀,推動重大的組織重組,或者改變策略方向,改採不同的商業模式。但若要取得成效,你必須從系統的角度思考。你必須了解,企業的策略、結構、流程和能力如何互相配合。你改變其中一個要素時,不能不仔細思考這對其他所有要素的影響。許多經理人獲得晉升,就是因為有解決問題的能力。

但當你成為總公司層級領導人時,你的職責是界定組織應解決的問題。要做到這一點,你必須找出整體局勢裡,你公司面對的機會和威脅。你還必須了解「白色空間」,這類議題如多元性,並不屬於任何一個職能,卻仍然很重要。從戰士轉換為外交家,意味你要花較少時間在「管理部隊」,而花更多時間去接觸和影響所有的利害關係人。

你會收到大量請求,來自組織內外的團體,例如,「你是否要主持由政府事務部贊助的產業論壇?」「你最快什麼時候能和一群重要的機構投資人會面?」若要解決利害關係人的擔憂,而且解決方法有助於推動你公司的目標,你就需要談判、說服、衝突管理、締結聯盟的技能。最後,成為總公司層級領導人,意味從舞台邊緣走向舞台中央。你可能會發現,持續受到審視會令你不安,或者你會很驚訝自己的言行受到許多人重視。

如果你不經意地建議一個新的產品包裝方式,一份完整的可行性報告,可能會在幾週內出現在你的辦公桌上。所有的經理人在某種程度上都是榜樣。但在總公司層級,所有人都會向你尋求願景、啟發,以及關於行為和態度的線索。培養自我意識和對他人觀點的同理心。回到我們的例子,尤瑟夫過去習慣與大多數員工保持一定程度的個人聯繫。但現在他要監督全球數千人的工作,他以前的溝通和激勵方式已經行不通。

當需要向組織說明年度策略時,他知道不能只是親自出去推銷,而必須透過自己的直屬部屬去進行,並尋找其他管道,如影片,來傳播這些訊息。現在我們已說明過所有的轉變,接著來看有哪些策略,可讓你做好準備,可擔任總公司層級的領導角色。你的方法主要取決於你是有抱負的領導人,還是經驗豐富的經理人。在早期,你應該自願領導跨職能專案,設法廣泛接觸各類業務情況,例如,啟動新事業、領導轉危為安的行動,或終止行動方案。

你還應該主動參與國際任務,以發展更全球化的視野。你一旦表現出領導承諾,就應該累積與外部利害關係人打交道的經驗(如投資人、媒體和關鍵顧客)。你也應該向其他領導人請教,請他們指導你處理愈來愈大的挑戰,像是整合被收購的公司,或領導組織重組。培養你的外部網絡。如果可能,你應參加高階主管重要能力的訓練課程,主題包括組織設計、改善業務流程、變革管理等。

當你準備好承擔更多職責時,你的公司可以提供支持,安排你到正在成長茁壯的小型事業單位。讓你專注提升技能,而不必持續面對一連串需要你關注的緊急問題。公司也應該確保你有一支經驗豐富、果決的團隊,讓你向他們學習、依靠他們。就像尤瑟夫了解到的,在你轉型過程中,有一支經驗豐富的團隊來指導你,是很重要的。要從經理人轉型為領導人,就必須放棄許多讓你取得現在地位的特性,並接受一種新的、更全面的心態。沒有任何東西可替代實際做決策,並從中學習,但了解這七個地震式轉變,可讓你準備好邁出第一步,成為高階主管。

(劉純佑譯)


Making the leap from unit-level manager to company-level executive requires some key changes to your leadership style. Learn what they are in this video slide deck.

Few career transitions are more difficult than making the jump from unit-level manager to company level executive. Career transition expert Michael Watkins interviewed executives leadership mentors, and HR professionals, and identified seven key changes new leaders need to make to be successful. He calls them seismic shifts. First let's talk about one of the most common traps: over-managing the function you know well and under-managing the rest.

Shifting from specialist to generalist means resisting the urge to stay in your comfort zone. Consider the story of a sales executive, Yusef, who work at a European chemical company. He was promoted from being VP of sales and marketing with a team of 200 people, to become the head of the company's plastic resins unit -- leading more than 3,000 employees. Feeling disoriented and unsure of himself, he initially clung to what he knew best. But Yusef’s company had surrounded him with a seasoned team who gave him blunt feedback.

One adviser told him, “You're driving your VP of sales crazy! You need to back off!” The team also provided guidance in critical areas where he had less experience. Company-level executives need to understand the subcultures, metrics, and languages of all the company functions and become familiar with the tools they used to solve business problems. In areas where you don't have expertise, you'll need to learn what questions to ask.

The second transition is from analyst to integrator. Unit leaders manage people who work on specific business activities. But an enterprise leader’s job is to integrate the collective knowledge of functional teams to solve organizational problems. In Yusef’s case, his sales VP wanted to go to market with a new product, but his head of operations worried that production couldn't ramp up quickly enough. To resolve conflicts like this, Yusef had to balance the needs of various functions, consider the impact on both quarterly results and long-term investments, and figure out how much attention to devote to execution versus innovation.

At the enterprise level, understanding trade-offs and explaining decisions effectively becomes some of a leader’s most important skills. For many leaders, focusing on tactical issues is seductive -- the activities are concrete, and the results immediate. It's tempting to lose yourself in the day-to-day flow of attending meetings, putting out fires and pushing projects over the finish line. But a leader's role is to be the strategist-in-chief.

Making the transition from tactician to strategist requires three key skills: Level shifting means knowing when to focus on the details or the big picture, and how the two relate. Pattern recognition entails identifying important causal relationships in a complex environment, and mental stimulation involves anticipating how outside parties such as competitors, regulators, and the media will respond to what you do. The shift from bricklayer to architect often trips people up.

New executives tend to charge in, itching to make their mark. They might shake things up with a major reorg, or change strategic direction with a different business model. But to be effective, you need to think in terms of systems. You have to understand how the business’s strategy, structure, processes, and capabilities fit together. You can't alter one element without thinking through the implications for all the others. Many managers are promoted for their ability to solve problems.

But when you become an enterprise leader, your job is to define the problems that the organization should tackle. To do that, you need to identify the landscape of opportunities and threats facing your business. You also have to understand the “white spaces” -- issues such as diversity that don't fall neatly into any one function but are still important. The shift from warrior to diplomat means that you'll spend much less time “marshalling the troops” and more time engaging and influencing a full range of stakeholders.

You'll be bombarded with requests from groups both inside and outside the organization, such as “Will you host an industry forum sponsored by the governmental affairs department?” and “How soon can you meet with a key group of institutional investors?” To address the concerns of your stakeholders in ways that support your firm's objectives, you'll need skills in negotiation, persuasion, conflict management, and alliance building. Finally, becoming an enterprise leader means moving out of the wings and taking center stage. You might find the constant scrutiny unnerving, or be surprised by how much stock people put in what you say and do.

If you make an offhand suggestion about a new way to package your product, a full feasibility report might very well land on your desk in a matter of weeks. All managers are role models to some degree. But at the enterprise level, everyone looks to you for vision, inspiration, and cues about behaviors and attitudes. Cultivate self-awareness and empathy with other people's viewpoints. Returning to our example, Yusef was used to maintaining some degree of personal contact with most of his employees. But now that he was overseeing thousands of people around the globe, his old ways of communicating and motivating didn't work.

When the time came to share the annual strategy with the organization, he realized that he couldn't simply go out and sell it in person. He had to work through his direct reports and find other channels, such as video, for spreading the word. Now that we've looked at all the shifts, let's take a look at strategies for preparing to take on an enterprise leadership role. Your approach will depend largely on whether you're an aspiring leader or more seasoned manager. Early on you should volunteer to take the lead on cross-functional projects, and seek exposure to a broad range of business situations -- for instance, starting up a business, leading a turnaround, and shutting down an initiative.

You should also raise your hand for international assignments to develop a more global perspective. Once you've shown leadership promise, it's important to gain experience with external stakeholders, such as investors, the media, and key customers. You'll also want to tap other leaders for mentoring as you face bigger and bigger challenges, such as integrating an acquisition or leading a reorg. Cultivate your external networks. And when you can, attend executive training programs on essenntial capabilities like organizational design, improving business processes and managing change.

When you're ready to step up, your company can support you by placing you in a unit that's small and thriving. You'll be able to focus on taking your skills to the next level without a constant barrage of urgent problems demanding your attention. Your company should also make sure you have an experienced and assertive team you can learn from and rely on. As Yusef learned, having a seasoned team to guide you as you make the transition is essential. The transformation from manager to leader involves letting go of many of the attributes that got you where you are, and embracing a new, more holistic mindset. There's no substitute for actually making decisions and learning from them, but understanding the seven seismic shifts can prepare you for a successful first step into senior management.



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