leadership-capacity

What is leadership capacity and how do I get more of it?

In a study of CEO’s leading multibillion dollar companies, Harvard Business Review1 sought clarity on how CEO’s use their time and how to maximise it. They concluded that the job of CEO is all-consuming and that there is enough work “to consume every hour of their lives”. Although the role requires a grueling schedule – most work 10 hours a day and work on 79% of weekends and 70% of holidays – it’s how they used their time that contributed to their success. With time being such a limited resource, what leaders allocate it to can positively or negatively impact performance.

How common is it to hear ourselves or others say, “I’m just about at my limit” or “I don’t think I have anything else left to give”? Even if it’s not said out loud, it can be communicated physically and through our non-verbal behavior – irritability, tuning out, forgetfulness or health complications. Although stress is a symptom, the main issue is capacity and the lack of alignment.

By definition capacity means the amount something can produce or contain2. There is a limit on how much we can do with the time and energy we have before we reach the point of exhaustion and burnout.

What is leadership capacity?

Over the decades of working with leaders around the world, we’ve watched leaders miss out on achieving their goals, not because they are incompetent or lack experience, but because they have expended all of their energy. They have “nothing left in the tank”. As you can appreciate, this is nearly always to the detriment of their health or significant relationships. Capacity is something that LCP Global is immensely passionate about. More specifically, how we can help you increase your capacity so you can better lead yourself, others, and your business.

Greater capacity isn’t something we add to our toolbelt or skillset. Rather, it’s something that gets released as a natural result of alignment.

Consider the example of biomechanics in optimizing sport performance. A golfer who analyzes their swing, breaking it down into key movements and focuses on aligning those movements will outperform their competitor who doesn’t. It’s not because they worked harder or applied more force to their swing – greater performance is the natural outcome of greater alignment. The same analysis can be applied to leadership.

How to release greater capacity to lead

How much capacity a leader has determines their effectiveness in their role. We’ve broken down capacity into five key elements critical to a leader’s performance. These 5 leadership anchors, when embraced and aligned, will release greater capacity to succeed in whatever you want to accomplish.

1. Relationships

For many leaders the increase in responsibilities leads to a decline in the quality of their relationships, both inside and outside of work. The development of key relationships in the life of a leader gives vital energy that is needed for achieving goals.

2. Motivational drivers

What does success look like to you? Is it the title on your business card, the letters after your name or your remuneration package? However you define success is at the root of what motivates you and will influence the degree to which you can sustain performance.

3. Values

Every leader has a value code: a set of intrinsic values that influences their behavior and informs the decisions they make. Having clarity on your values creates resilience and focus which are foundational to success.

4. Decisions

A leader’s decision-making process is influenced by their personal script – the thought processes and behaviors learned and adopted from childhood into adulthood. These scripts can either help or hinder your leadership and performance.

5. Goals

Clarifying your purpose and vision enables you to set goals that have the power to transform the outcome of your efforts. Rather than pursue short-term fixes, setting transforming goals will focus your time and energy for a greater return.

If you are dealing with different conflicts, goals that are not clear, pressure in your relationships at work and outside of work, then we can guarantee your capacity is below what you need to achieve sustainable performance. At the very least, it is compromised. Many leaders are competent but don’t have the physical, emotional, and relational capacity to leverage the areas they are competent in for greater success.

What’s the bottom line?

Our biggest roadblock is the limits we put on our own capacity through misalignment. Take some time to evaluate the 5 Leadership Anchors and focus your efforts on creating greater alignment. You just might surprise yourself and find that extra bit of leadership capacity you are looking for.


References

1How CEOs Manage Time. (2021, July 8). Harvard Business Review.

https://hbr.org/2018/07/how-ceos-manage-time

2 Cambridge Dictionary. (2022a, February 23). Capacity: Definition. Cambridge University Press.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/capacity

Glenn Williams

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