You institutionalize leadership by:
I. Defining Core Leadership Responsibilities
II. Assessing Leadership Competencies Agains Your Leadership Responsibilities
III. Developing/Recruiting Needed Leadership Talent
IV. Re-aligning Ready Leadership Talent To Key Strategic Roles
Given the parameters of this forum, I will elaborate on the first point only.
Strategic leaders have three core responsibilities:
1. Vision, Direction, and Purpose
Define and continually refine the direction by which your organization positions itself in the marketplace, develop a Vision for the future, and create the broad strategies necessary for achieving the Vision.
Through the alignment process, your leaders will build commitment to the Vision and the strategic business plan. In this way the leadership team signs on and aligns the organization’s energy and action to focus on achieving core objectives. From the broad strategic goals detailed in the Vision, your organization’s leaders help each individual synchronize and interlink their own performance objectives with those of the Vision. Using this kind of cascading, goal-setting process is the only realistic way to create true alignment.
Once your top leadership team makes the strategic decisions, then they need to allocate resources and empower employees to execute the strategy and delight the customer.
(Remember, empowerment means the ability to influence others in the way business is conducted; it is not about the delegation of formal authority. People become empowered when they are clear about their responsibilities, when they have clear performance expectations, and when they have the freedom to act in accordance with the Vision.)
Now, ask the question, "How many of our second level potential leaders have the competencies to execute consistently on these three core responsibilities?" If your answer is "I don't know," then Assess, Develop/Hire, and Re-align.