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A New Year …and a New Leadership Role?

Posted Friday, January 5th, 2018

Member Submitted, Business Tips

Submitted by: Sharlene Goldfischer, Owner and Principal, Quintessence Coaching

In many ways, moving into a new leadership role is akin to welcoming a new year….looking back from where we came coupled with a futuristic view, anticipation of the great opportunities that lie ahead and to maybe starting anew,  formulating and setting plans into motion and perhaps a bit of “normal” trepidation about the unknown regarding what lies ahead.

I had the pleasure of interacting with the Young Professionals Council shortly before 2017 came to a close in a lively exploration of time management and productivity.  One of the questions that came to the discussion was about the changing demands of time management and productivity when one moves into a new management/leadership role.  Suddenly, you are not only responsible for what is on your plate but also what is on the plates of all of your direct reports.  How does one best manage all of that and produce those deliverables on time?

How to lead best to get the job done has been explored for millennia from many different frameworks and if one takes a quick stroll through the management section of any bookstore or online source at this time, one finds a dizzying array of titles and approaches.  I’m going to refer to one of the earliest quoted leadership development gurus, however, Lao-Tzu from the 5th century, B.C.E., who said, “But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done and his aim fulfilled, they will say: “We did this ourselves.”

Sounds great…but “How”, you ask.  That’s it…..the question!  One of the most important tools to include in your leader skillset tool bag as you move into your new role is not the answer but the question.  Questions for yourself in every situation….What is my ultimate goal?  What is the best way to get this done given the requirements?  What is holding my team back? How might I think about this differently?  And…perhaps more important as your responsibility grows….bringing a framework of supportive inquiry to those who are now a vital part of your productivity team.  Some of those empowering questions might be: “Given our resources and deadline, what is the best way to approach this now?  Why/how might that approach be effective?  What’s another way to look at this situation?

In A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas, journalist Warren Berger notes that questioning is “a uniquely human capacity”.  How can you draw on this unique capacity as you move forward in your career?


Sharlene Goldfischer, M.Ed., ACC, CPC, ELI-MP is the owner and principal of Quintessence Coaching, an active member of the Chamber of Commerce for a Greater Philadelphia.  Sharlene is an ICF certified executive and life coach and holds professional degrees in psychology, education and organizational development.  She specializes in leadership development and transition management for individuals and organizations, working with both new and tenured leaders to help them clarify, develop and hone their leadership skills and build organizational engagement and effectiveness.

To learn more, visit: www.quintessencecoaching.com, or contact Sharlene at quintessencecoaching1@gmail.com.

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