VOICE August 2017 - page 2

- Natural communication to groups is not their
- They need mountains of information before they
can make a decision, therefore slowing down the
- For them to think ‘big picture’ is more idealistic /
imaginative than it is realistic, and as such is often
not too strategic
(However, this is the opposite for an ESTJ.)
But, managers can learn on the job
By being supported and learning in real time what
works and what doesn’t and by making mistakes and
building their experience. This can be painful but it is
a powerful method in terms of developing long term
Leadership Development Programmes are also an
option and there is value in this intensive approach
learning alongside a variety of leaders , often from a
range of industry sectors.
However, for the specialist leader, these programmes
can be a difficult process resulting in limited
learning. Specialists are often out of their comfort
zone in large groups, learning in an interactive way.
They can withdraw and avoid, trying to ‘simply
survive the process’ perhaps even losing their
confidence to try out a few new leadership skills.
So, what are the alternatives?
One alternative is a dedicated and experienced
mentor. Having someone in the organisation to talk
to on a regular basis who knows how you are feeling
as a ‘specialist as leader’, that can offer advice,
support, ideas and approaches is a very valuable
resource. Many organisations are recognising the
value of mentors, people with experience and know
how, and who have successfully navigated their way
through the ups and downs of leadership over many
years. Organisations are helping these people to
develop their mentoring skills, so that they can
impart their knowledge and advice in a way that is
effective for the new leader. They are at hand in a
crisis and they are there to have regular mentoring
meetings to continually support and challenge the
‘new leader’ – often for several years.
But what if your specialist as leader does not have
time on their side? Perhaps they have been given less
than a year to prove themselves and to learn what
they need to be successful in the job. While a
temptation might be to use a Leadership
Development Programme, as I have already
identified this does not always provide the best
option for a specialist leader. As an alternative,
leadership coaching from a well qualified business
coach with a background in the skills and practical
requirements of leadership, is a positive option for
the ‘specialist as leader’ because they offer:
So, there are various options if you find yourself in a
conversation with a specialist leader about their
leadership development. Or, if you are a specialist
yourself who is now having to take on leadership
responsibilities. The key is to look at the context for
the development. For example, does the specialist
have time on their side to learn “on the job”? Is there
someone within the business who has the experience
to act as a mentor? Is there more than one specialist
conversation happening within
the business so that a tailored
programme can be developed for
these leaders? Once you know the
answers to these questions you
can then work out whether they
working with an experienced
mentor or by having leadership
coaching from an experienced
business coach.
We Recommend..
Karen Frost
Click the text to
watch the video.
1-2-1 attention
Take place in the com-
fort zone
All sessions are kept
Allow for real-time
Allow for practice be-
tween the new leader
and their coach
Incorporate personal-
ised learning plans to
meet their individual
“ISTP -Tolerant and flexible, quiet observers until a
problem appears, then act quickly to find workable
solutions. Analyze what makes things work and readi-
ly get through large amounts of data to isolate the
core of practical problems.
INTP -Seek to develop logical explanations for every-
thing that interests them. Theoretical and abstract,
interested more in ideas than in social interaction
ESTJ-Practical, realistic, matter-of-fact. Decisive,
quickly move to implement decisions. Organize pro-
jects and people to get things done, focus on getting
results in the most efficient way possible.”
1 3,4,5
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