By Jay Wynter
7 months ago I was promoted to senior consultant and have arrived at a fork in the road in terms of the next career step. Do I head down the principle consulting route or do I now embrace leadership and build a team?
To ensure I make an informed decision I have been reading content and have recently read Dale Carnegie ‘How to make friends and influence people’ and one specific quote really resinated with me;
‘15% of financial success is technical knowledge, 85% is human engineering, personality and the ability to lead’. A pretty significant quote and shows successful individuals tend to have the ability to lead. After all the Iphone wasn’t created by Steve Jobs alone, or SAP latest S4HANA platform wasn’t created by Bill McDermott alone.
This would certainly suggest leadership was the way to go however I was keen to explore further with the thoughts and insights of leaders surrounding me.
1. John White (Carmen White Recruitment Training)
I am currently being mentored by John White (an external recruitment trainer) and he was highly for the leadership route, only if people fully understand what the role required. He drew an excellent diagram and explained where most leaders fall.
John mentioned “When you are a consultant you do job A. Job A is outward communication speaking to clients, candidates, HR, being proactive and dealing with the task at hand.
When you are a leader you must do job A and job B. Job B is coaching, mentoring and ensuring your team member is comfortable dealing with a similar challenge in the future without your help or guidance.
Most leaders fall with job B. They would simply fix a problem by providing a solution to a team member and not follow up with the coaching. The real skill of the leader is teaching, coaching and mentoring the team member so they are fully comfortable with a similar problem in the future”.
2. Precision Sourcing’s Leaders
Internally my colleagues Simon Hair and Joel Stein mentioned you have to have a passion for helping people achieve. Simon quoted “I was always fascinated with leadership from a young age when my brother was in the forces responsible for 30 men on the streets of Northern Ireland when a few years previous he was singing Wham. Also being a big Man Utd fan I watched the way Sir Alex Ferguson changed the culture at Utd”.
Joel said “There is nothing better than seeing someone in your team, who you have trained and mentored, achieve their goals. Serious job satisfaction”
Jill Ryder, managing director, mentioned that the “stress levels will increase because you suddenly have to rely on others. She also gave me some insight to time management and how your diary and organisation must be spot on.
3. Sport leaders
I have worked closely with talented football coach Joe Haywood for the last 4 years. Joe is from an excellent footballing background gaining his A-license, working at Man Utd and Man City academies and now in Australia managing the North Shore Mariners (National Premier League 2 side). Joe said “Leadership is a rollercoaster and it brings its own rewards and challenges. The bottom line is you must have the passion for 2 things:
– The industry you lead in
Personally, I have been in a leadership role before so have a brief understanding of how the workload and responsibilities increase. That increase of responsibility as well as maintaining/growing your own personal desk and brand is extremely challenging so before committing I would be keen to learn more.
To date, I have mostly enjoyed listening to other leaders and their thoughts. I would love to ask you your thoughts on leadership? What does it mean to you? What are some of the challenges? Who is the best leader you have had and why?