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Systematize to Scale

How to create robust systems and processes to scale and create uniformity and in turn save time, energy, and other scarce resources

I’ve more than two decades of international leadership experience and have been helping leaders make successful transitions from one stage of leadership to the next one:

  1. From Star Employee to first-time Team Leader, Project Manager, or Supervisor;
  2. From Supervisory to Middle Management; and
  3. From Management to Executive Leadership.

In 2016 – 2017, I also had a golden opportunity to work with a national training company in the US, traveling around the country to provide public seminars and on-site workshops for new supervisors and managers.

One thing I quickly realized back then was that not all organizations have the knowhow, willingness, and ability to custom design and provide stage-by-stage leadership programs for their:

  1. Emerging Leaders,
  2. Middle Leaders, and
  3. Senior Leaders.

What is more? Very few smart organizations proactively and intentionally empower their NEW and 1st Time:

  • Supervisors,
  • Managers, and
  • Executive to make a smooth transition and excel at their new leadership roles from the get-go.

A few years ago, I decided to help first-time leaders who may not get leadership transition programs from their employers to make a smooth transition from one stage of leadership to the next one.

As a result, I published the first of three books on leadership transition.

The first book in this series was published in 2021 and became Amazon’s #1 bestseller within the 1st week of its release. To learn more about this book and other complementary programs for first-time team leaders, project managers, and supervisors, click here…

The 2nd book in this trilogy is in the pipeline and may be published within a few months. The final and third book may be published at the end of this year or early next year, and it aims at equipping first-time new executives and CEOs. Stay Tuned!

The second book empowers supervisors transitioning from supervision to middle management- from leading one project or team to leading multiple teams and projects.

The transition from Star Employee to 1st time leadership is tough- at least for the first few months. Likewise, transitioning from supervision to middle management won’t be easy. And, of course, unless someone gets the appropriate transition programs individually and/or collectively.

This morning, I was enriching one of the keys shared in the second book: Systematizing Processes. One of the 12 keys a new middle leader needs to succeed in leading from the middle is the ability to systematize his/her portfolio, department, or function.

As a team supervisor or project manager, one might never need to create systems and processes under each system. He or she may have the pulse of the team at their fingertips. They may know what is going on and can create uniformity, harmony, and synergy without systematizing and creating processes for each system.

Unfortunately, many middle leaders may not make a quick shift in their mindset and develop the right competencies right away to lead multiple teams and projects from the get-go. Many solo entrepreneurs, too, struggle to scale because they don’t know the importance of systematizing and creating processes. Even if they are aware and willing, they may lack the know-how and abilities to do so.

When a supervisor or entrepreneur is leading one team or managing one project, they can survive and still perform well without systematizing.

Sadly, as a middle leader who manages multiple projects and teams, one can’t survive, let alone succeed, without systematizing the processes in their multiple teams and projects.

Systematizing is one of the skills necessary to lead from the middle effectively and successfully from the start without wasting scarce resources, harming performance, and/or affecting the well-being of all parties involved.

If it is done effectively, systematizing enables middle leaders to:

  • Create uniformity,
  • Save tons of time and energy,
  • Conserve other scarce resources,
  • Facilitate cross-pollination by busting silos,
  • Enjoy an easy flow of info,
  • Exchange of ideas and expertise,
  • And many more benefits that come with breaking down silos and creating robust systems and agile processes.

The good news is that, unlike in the past, middle leaders and solo entrepreneurs who desire to scale FAST can tap into and leverage the latest technologies and platforms to create a robust system. More than ever, there are many affordable and easy-to-implement options out there…

Let me stop here. As soon as the book becomes available, I’ll share it with you here. Stay Tuned!

PRO Leadership aims at bridging the leadership gaps globally, one community at a time.

  • In collaboration with our strategic partners and sponsors, we offer different leadership programs and services.
  • We also have an initiative that provides cohort programs based on the leadership development stages of leaders. These three books on leadership transitions will be used as references.

 If you would like to be a strategic partner, sponsor, or volunteer, reach out.

#Scaling #Systematizing #MiddleLeadership #MiddleManagers

One Leadership Skill to Develop/Improve in 2024

Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you. I love this time of the year for various reasons, some of which include but not limited to:

  1. Slow down, recount my blessings, and be more grateful for what I’ve and accomplished than complaining about what I didn’t have, the missed goals, and other disappointments I experienced throughout the year. Life is not perfect… I’m not perfect…
  2. Take lessons from both my successes and failures, regroup, prioritize, strategize, and plan to take on the New Year with renewed spirit, desire, and vigor.
  3. Evaluate how far I’ve come, what enabled me to succeed, and enumerate a couple of skillsets I need to develop next year that may allow me to go to the next level and achieve my New Year goals.

If you would like to read more about how I developed one of the habits of High Performers: The ability to craft GOLAS that translate into RESULTS, check the recent blog I wrote entitled “Going Beyond New Year Resolutions.”

In this last blog for 2023, I’d like to emphasize what I shared above under #3, more specifically recognizing some of my skill gaps and developing them intentionally in the New Year.

First, let me ask you a couple of questions to help you reflect:

  • What are the three important skillsets that are responsible for your success in 2023?
  • If you’ve not met some of your grand goals, which competencies do you think were lacking that could have empowered you to achieve these goals?

If you personally know me, regardless of many of my weaknesses, flaws, and failures, you know that I try all my best to stay optimistic, if not always, most of the time. One of the mindset attributes I’ve that allows me to stay positive is my inclination to always take personal responsibility for my failures even if there could be some external factors that played some role for my stumbling. Here is why:

  1. When you accept responsibility for not meeting your own goals, expectations, desires, vision, and standards, you’re the author of your life, not other factors outside of you.
  2. When you refrain from blaming others or circumstances, you refuse to be a victim.
  3. When you own your failures and limitations, you’re indirectly believing that you have control and you’re in charge. You can turn things around. Your case isn’t closed. You have another chance to try again, which is within your control…

If you disagree with one or more of the things I said above, you’re not the only one. I’ve some relatives and friends who think that I’m being naive and unrealistic. If you’re surprised about how some of the people close to me perceive me and think that I’m delusional, well, there are a few who actually believe that I’m crazy 🙂 I don’t take these personal. I don’t expect the whole world to agree with me in everything I believe, say, and do…

That said, just be patient with me for a couple of minutes. I’m going somewhere. What I have to say in this last blog of 2023 may give sense.

Here is my framework of thinking. In most cases, I failed because I lacked either:

  • The mindset and attitude, and/or
  • The necessary competencies, and/or
  • The personality it takes to succeed; nothing more, nothing less!

That is why I like this season…

After rolling my sleeves, going all-in, making my hands dirty, and staying in the field day in and day out, NOW is the time to slow down and evaluate my progress.

As you might have already noticed in your own life, we all fall short of some of our expectations and target goals. In my case, I embraced this truth that rather than lowering my bar or complaining and whining or pointing fingers somewhere or at someone, I take responsibility, and regroup to fix things in the New Year.

This time, I’ve already identified a couple of growth areas for 2024. As you can imagine, as an experienced leadership expert, author, consultant, facilitator, and speaker, at this stage of my career, the skillsets I am working on right NOW are very advanced. I may come back again in the future to share with you these skillsets and how I developed them. Stay tuned!

For now, let me share with you one of the leadership competencies I used to work on for years: my Speaking ability.

At the early stage of my training and speaking career, I wasn’t getting invitations. Nobody was interested in listening to me for FREE, let alone paying me for it 🙂

When you find yourself in that situation, it is tempting to blame others, your luck, or even yourself by saying:

  • I’m not good enough as a person.
  • I’m not tall (too tall).
  • I don’t have charisma like so and so.
  • I’ve a thick accent.
  • The list continues…

Rather, I decided to do multiple things at once to improve my speaking ability. Here are a few things I did:

  • Read books on how to speak like a pro, acquire the American accent, etc.
  • Stood in front of my bathroom mirror and every day to practice.
  • Recruited mentors.
  • Joined professional associations such as NSA, ATD, Toastmasters, and so on to gain access to platforms, practice, and get feedback.

After a while, people could notice the difference. I began getting invitations.

Now, I’m paid well to speak.

Actually, for this particular skillset very critical in every industry, I coach both novice and advanced speakers. I travel around the country to facilitate 1-day and 2-day workshops…

Click here to learn the kind of coaching service I offer at Success Pathways, one of our Strategic Partners (Remember, if you are PRO Leadership’s strategic partner or volunteer, you get discount whenever you get Success Pathways services for yourself, your team or organization. Take advantage of that in 2024.).

The point I’m making in this blog, beside wishing you a Happy New Year, is that you should identify a few leadership skillsets, and work on them proactively and intentionally in 2024 to take your leadership to the next level.

Of course, the competencies you need to achieve your 2024 personal, career, and organizational goals is different than mine and everybody else. Whatever goals you may have in the different aspects of your life, career, or organization, this is time to:

  1. Regroup,
  2. Prioritize,
  3. Strategize, and
  4. Plan.

Happy New Year once again!

Looking forward to working with you in 2024…

Excelling as a 1st Time Supervisor or Manager

According to the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), “Within the first 24 months of taking a new position, 60% of new managers fail.”

You shouldn’t be surprised by this statistic. Many first-time supervisors and managers are thrown into deep water to see if they can swim or sink. Unfortunately, the majority are sinking.

They are unable to make a smooth transition and excel at their new role. In the process, they also hurt their well-being, performance, and relationships.

However, I have worked with some proactive organizations that didn’t wait 24 months to see whether their new supervisors and managers can survive or not. They don’t let their new leaders swim alone and solo without giving them the proper training and equipping them with the right gear. I traveled around the country to facilitate workshops specifically designed for new supervisors and managers.

At the end of each session, you could see the excitement, confidence, and sense of relief from participants. Many of them mentioned they had wished they had this workshop months ago prior or as soon as they were promoted. Some regretted the stress, anxiety, and uncertainty that tortured them for weeks and months. These could have been avoided. They also admitted that they could have become a little bit more assertive, and productive, and improved their relationships with key stakeholders sooner if they passed through this program earlier.

If you’re a senior leader responsible for managing, coaching, and mentoring first-time supervisors and managers, you were among those 40% who survived and ultimately succeeded in climbing the corporate ladder. When you were a new supervisor or manager, you might have gotten some support from your superiors, or you took matters into your own hands and made the transition successfully. But many of your peers didn’t make it.

I have noticed that many senior leaders don’t see the need to arrange transition programs for their coachees and mentees. They made the transition by themselves successfully back then when they were just starting, consciously or unconsciously, they presume that the current new leaders in their organization too could make it, if not right away, at the end of the day…

To read the rest of the blog, click here…

To watch the video clip, click here…

Note: As you know, we’re a non-profit organization, and we offer most of our services for FREE, in a few cases, we charge a nominal price to cover our expenses. But, our programs are limited to community organizations in Emerging Economies and diaspora communities in the Western hemisphere.

However, if you’re our strategic partner or a non-profit or community organization and have supervisors and managers, you should get the programs of Success Pathways, LLC.

As you may already know, Success Pathways support PRO Leadership financially and offers discounts to PRO Leadership’s Strategic Partners. Reach out to its team via [email protected] and mention that you’re our Strategic Partner and a non-profit, they’ll give you discount.

If you’re an aspiring or new team leader, project manager, or supervisors, click here and take advantage of the promotional price to get the eBook of Overcoming 1st Timer for just 1 USD (plus bonuses worth of 1, 400 USD).

If you have any questions or would like to partner with us, reach out to our team at [email protected]

Growing Your Leaders Holistically

Going beyond using off-shelf leadership programs to raise world-class leaders

When you’re like me and have been in the learning industry for so long, you come across various leadership programs. Some are good while others are not so good. And some in between…

Yes, I’ve been exposed to world-class leadership programs. I benefited from such programs myself. However, these are a few exceptions, not the norm.

If you ask me to be honest, though painful to reveal this publicly and against the industry I’m part of, I can tell you that many leadership programs are garbage.

No wonder many decision makers are frustrated and skeptical about leadership development programs. Who blames them? They invest billions every year and they’re getting mediocre results.

From the top of my mind, below are some of the problems you’ll find in many leadership programs:

  1. Outdated. To see this, just go to the references side of the leadership materials. You will be surprised to find out that most of the reference materials used to develop the corresponding program are 10 years or more old. Very few programs use the latest leadership books and share recent stories and case studies.
  • Off-shelf. Just google and see the overview and learning objectives of the leadership programs that are available on the Internet. You will see that they are almost the same with minor wording differences. Most training companies outsource their materials to the same companies that have been designing these mediocre programs over the years. Few have their own outline. Very few tailor their programs according to the needs, priorities, preferences, and cultures of their clients.
  • Incomplete. This is unfortunate. There are leadership program designers who believe that leadership is all about competencies. As a result, they focus on skillsets, neglecting other important aspects of leadership development.
  • Generic. Leadership is a protracted journey. Leaders advance on the spectrum of leadership, from emerging to middle, and senior leadership. At each stage of leadership, they face different challenges and are exposed to totally different opportunities as they grow and advance. Rather than getting programs that consider their level of leadership, leaders are given generic programs that fail to meet their specific needs at the stage where they are.  
  • Neutral. The world has changed. In the same team, organization, and community, we have now diverse team members and leaders, some work together in close proximity while others join virtually far from the headquarters. Sadly, many leadership programs don’t account for the diversity of participants either or both at the design and/or delivery stages. Worse is when these leadership programs are biased and have affinity to one side. Worst case scenario? When they have discriminatory elements in their programs that offend and disempower certain sections of the audience.

At PRO Leadership, we attempt to solve the above problems as we aim to bridge the leadership gap globally, one community at a time.

Here are some of the things we consider as we design and deliver our programs:

  1. We incorporate the latest leadership insights, models, tools, and approaches.
  2. We tailor each program for each audience.
  3. We go beyond developing skillsets; we don’t neglect other important aspects of leadership growth.
  4. We develop stage-by-stage leadership development programs.
  5. We’re mindful of the uniqueness of each audience.
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If you would like to grow your leaders holistically by partnering with us, let’s help you design and deliver leadership development programs that grow your leaders holistically.

Don’t forget. Unless your leaders at varies stages of leadership experience all-around growth, they won’t be able to fulfill their individual and corporate mandates. Your leaders become handicapped and may not be able to solve the problems they are facing now and in the future.

Without holistic leadership development, you and your leaders may not tap into the opportunities the century offers.

Even if you don’t have your own team, if you care about raising world-class leaders in your organization and/or community, you should partner with us.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about PRO Leadership and:

  • How we may help you raise world-class leaders,
  • How you can become part of the team, and/or
  • How you may become a strategic partner or a sponsor, reach out via [email protected]

Hoping to hear from you soon…