Imagine you head a company; you have about 10-15 direct reports and each of them leads a department with one, two, three or more hierarchy layers; you are the CEO. What would you say is your main job?
The answer according to international top executive coach Dorothee Echter is: creating positive resonance. What an unusual answer!
I met with Mrs. Echter last week at an alumni event of ESSEC business school. She had this confident attitude of those who have been there and speak from confirmed direct experience. Mrs Echter, sociologist and psychologist by education has held various business leadership roles in international companies before dedicating herself to coaching leaders. Since 1996, she has advised board members, executives and politicians in Germany and around the world. With a team of 20 partners, she scrutinized over the years the root causes and factors of leadership success and failure (link to her website: www.dorotheeechter.de).
As surprised as I was by her answer, she was really convincing: successful top managers create positive resonance in their community; they create a favorable environment through specific rituals (example: D. Echter blog post on Christmas Rituals, Harvard Business Manager – in German) which motivate their community to invent the future they envision.
If you think about it, creating a good mood environment is certainly a great fertilizer of creative energy and can do attitude:
- A good top manager is not a controller: you really don’t have to tell your teams how they should deliver your vision nor the strategy you defined together. They know it or will figure it out. They don’t need any sort of micro-management.
- At C-level, performance is a given: Executive teams are appointed based on their performance level and because they are trusted. They will deliver or leave. No hard feelings, this is how it works.
So if you are aspiring to become a top manager why not thinking about how to transmit this motivation around you? Do it consistently and you will create a culture of motivation and confidence:
- Praise the positive around you and share your enthusiasm. It will be contagious.
- Show your appreciation and be grateful for the work done. Don’t think always about what remains to be done. It will be done.
- Show the sunlight above the clouds even when your teams can’t see it yet, even when you can’t see it yourself yet.
Whether a top manager or an aspiring executive, what about starting today? What action can you take to create this positive resonance?