When leading an organization, it is too easy to lose sight of what it is exactly that you yourself are supposed to be doing. While there’s no one single right answer, it is something that requires thought and determination.
It is very easy to answer the generic purpose of the company, e.g. “we make widgets.” Yet that’s not what you do, is it? You’re not likely to be sitting down and making the widgets yourself, as an executive (at least I hope you’re not). You need to decide on your goals and purpose, and justify your pay and position. This is a big part in being an effective manager and sets you apart from plainly doing your job to being a leader.
When doing quarterly retrospectives and planning with clients it is often the case that they do not have any material goals other than whatever may be on the company’s roadmap at the moment. You should define how you will grow personally during that time, and how will your day-to-day enable the growth of the team.
Some managers excel at breaking silos company-wide; others are great at cultivating culture or streamlining work processes to make it easier to get repeatable results; and some simply focus on being a tool for their teams, making sure they get whatever they need, when they need it.
There’s nothing bad in any one of these, as long as they are done with deliberation. Instead of spending your days meandering between meetings and without a purpose, set your goals and decide on your personal yardstick.
Accountability starts at the top of the organization, and this is plainly one of the easiest ways to grow and achieve more personally: know why your job is needed, and make sure that your position is a good one. Don’t become a bottleneck that everyone depends on. Solve problems instead of becoming a part of them.
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