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Über dieses Buch

Most of us would recognize a star leader by their charisma, emotional intelligence and public communication prowess. What is truly impressive but often overlooked is the silent work of leadership that garners real results. Exercising influence in a complex and global organization – whilst also shaping and executing strategies across borders in a disruptive age – is the true mark of success as a leader. Backstage Leadership takes a comprehensive look at the background processes that leaders must master in order to shape the culture, direction and capability of a successful company. With an emphasis on strategy, the author provides an integrated toolkit for developing your knowledge and skills as a 'backstage leader.' You will learn how to:

Mobilize people towards new strategic directions Scan your business environment for threats and disruptive forces Diagnose and help to shape the culture of your organization Develop talent and capabilities towards a specific goal. Focusing on the key and consistent underlying processes of leadership, this book is essential reading for managers who wish to bring focus and coherence to their leadership role and integrate themselves within the engine of the organization.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Leading, Front and Back

Abstract
When executives are preoccupied with what happens on the frontstage and not the backstage, firms can suffer because not enough of the core processes and systems are put in place to help enact strategy. Backstage leadership allows for successful strategies to be enacted and developed over time, constantly adapting. This chapter outlines core backstage processes that generate sustainable performance, as business leaders learn to be behind-the-scene orchestrators in their firms. Silent backstage processes include scanning and sensemaking in the marketplace, building commitment to action, shaping culture and gauging the emotional health of the organization, among others.
Charles Galunic

Chapter 2. Scanning and Sensemaking

Abstract
Leading disruptive companies of our times develop forward-looking processes and “future-proofing” routines instead of relying on organizational dogma. Such scanning is important, but sensemaking is too, which is essentially scanning with mindfulness as executives work to conceptualize through awareness and interpretation of the world around them. It requires being attentive to the deviations from commonly accepted interpretations, habits of mind, and routines. To do this, executives can take several steps including creating a search map, developing horizon thinking, and tapping “outsiders” in the scanning process.
Charles Galunic

Chapter 3. Building and Locking in Commitment to Strategy

Abstract
There is a political process to building authentic commitments to strategic directions. Executives must be able to get employees to collectively agree upon both “making” and then “taking” strategic decisions which everyone feels good about. Leaders first determine where on a democratic to autocratic spectrum commitment processes lie within their organization, what is the right mode given the context. Then they can use two approaches to achieve commitments: “Creative Fair Process” and “Mobilization.” Creative Fair Process is more democratic and is about “pulling in” people in order to reach a decision. It is best implemented when there is relatively more ambiguity about a strategic direction and leaders need to keep the process as open as possible, without dragging the organization further behind the pace of industry. In contrast, mobilization is a more top-heavy method, pushing but also selling a direction, and more appropriate when a strategic direction is more or less “clear.” Key to both is the ability to move seamlessly between the foreground and the background in leadership work.
Charles Galunic

Chapter 4. Handling Contradictions: The Structural Work of Leadership

Abstract
All companies have to cope with inherent contradictions, to which people are naturally averse. There are several dimensions of contradictions: short versus long term (time horizons), local/competitive versus collective/cooperative, and, the biggest one, exploration versus exploitation. Managing these is key to ensuring adaptive firm performance. Contradictions can be resolved through backstage leadership in a way that creates an ideal equilibrium given firm peculiarities. There is no single “ideal balance” but each leader must discover that knife-edge. This is done both internally and externally, developing the mind-set and skills of an ambidextrous leader on the one hand, and coordinating team behavior and structural work on the other.
Charles Galunic

Chapter 5. Harnessing the Silent Power of Culture and Norms

Abstract
Culture is strategic, and developing organizational strategies requires wrestling with and shaping culture through backstage work. To understand culture, executives must engage in investigative work and identify the artifacts, espoused values, and assumptions prevalent within their organizations. Good cultural analysis entails good data and deep description, patience, and inquisition to peel back the layers of company conduct and thinking. Once leadership understands (better) their organizational culture, they must focus on the alignment process, creating distinctive tactics that embody desired cultural attributes. The focus of the cultural work is in local adaptation and interpretation given specific firm context rather than universal organizational values.
Charles Galunic

Chapter 6. Developing Talent and Capabilities

Abstract
Deep connections must be forged between the three fundamental processes of strategy, capability development, and talent development. There is no “one size fits all” strategy for human talent development but some include hiring stars and building around them, developing strategic jobs that move your organization forward, avoiding “assholes”, recognizing our own biases, paying attention to our own networks of senior managers, and looking to the current and future generations of workers to recognize characteristics that inspire talent.
Charles Galunic

Chapter 7. Back to the Front: Foundational Leadership Traits and Skills

Abstract
This chapter takes us back to the front and asks the question what does front or backstage leadership require of the individual, in terms of traits, skills, characteristics? What are the most crucial leadership skills and traits needed to help make a complete leader, whether they are operating on the front or backstage? Both types of work involve sharing ourselves and enacting who we are through management. There is a repertoire of skills that inform leadership behaviors on which people widely agree despite the farrago of management environments. This includes: role modeling with integrity, leading with vision, taking care of those around you, being bold and courageous, being self-aware, working to integrate teams, and the “X-Factor” (something uniquely your own that sets you apart from the pack).
Charles Galunic

Backmatter

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