FIRST CLASS COACH

FIRST CLASS COACH - I've just been appointed head of department in a sector new to me. There's an important strategy presentation in the next few weeks and I'm torn as to whether to do it myself or let my two direct reports handle it. I want to demonstrat

by MIRANDA KENNETT, managing coach at The Coaching House(www.coachinghouse.com) and a founding partner of The Management DueDiligence Co

I've just been appointed head of department in a sector new to me. There's an important strategy presentation in the next few weeks and I'm torn as to whether to do it myself or let my two direct reports handle it. I want to demonstrate my leadership, but it would be good experience for them and they are more knowledgeable.

Whether this is really a dilemma or not depends on your definition of leadership. If leadership for you means leading from the front by doing, then there may a rationale for making the presentation yourself. But there are plenty of other definitions, including one that says that the art of leadership is focused on achieving things through other people. And there's also research that shows that one of the key skills of good leaders is the ability to resolve dilemmas, so this issue is a perfect one for you to practise that skill.

In resolving dilemmas it's good to have a desired outcome, something you can work towards. To identify this outcome, think about what sort of leader you want to be. Try thinking back to the bosses you have had whose leadership qualities you admired, and those you despised. I'm willing to bet the ones you admired were the ones that gave you space to do your best, provided support where you needed it and gave credit for the results you created. And the ones you disliked probably did the opposite.

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