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This article from Christina Charters at Allegro Consulting is the introduction to her contribution to our Agency Operations Guide. Read her introduction and then Download the full Agency Operations Guide by filling in your details in the form to the right.

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It’s a tough time to be at the top. Your responsibility as a leader (or leadership team) is to ensure the company’s prosperity, and yet never have there been so many operational challenges to overcome: 

  • Geopolitical tensions
  • New regulations
  • High inflation
  • Skills shortage
  • The rise of tech & the disruption to “norms”
  • Environmental policy and the urgent requirement
  • Cyber risks
  • Supply chain challenges

The size of the challenge is backed by data. If you think you’re doing a bad job, this might make you feel better, you’re not alone – 65% of leadership teams feel they are in the same boat. Only 20% were described as high-performing in a study by the Center for Creative Leadership.

Source: https://www.ccl.org/articles/white-papers/getting-best-executive-team/

If we look at just one challenge – the disruption that technology is causing to leadership – it’s huge. It has completely changed the way businesses handle their internal and external operations in the last 10-15 years. Leaders are now faced with the daunting task of balancing the power of technology with the needs of their team members. This is a challenge that is becoming increasingly prevalent, and due to the rapid pace of change, there are few established best practices to rely on. 

It’s hard to be a great leader in times of crisis and crisis is what a lot of CEO’s are reporting:

45% of global CEOs told PwC that their organisation would no longer be economically viable in 10 years’ time if it continues on its current course. 

Source: https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/issues/c-suite-insights/ceo-survey.html

There’s no operating manual, and it’s very difficult to build periods of stability and consistency when you are sent back to survival mode. But more than ever great leaders are required. The challenges we face demand leaders who are constantly evolving, adapting and experimenting with new ways to lead.

So what can we do?

We can assess what is working amongst high-performing leaders, look at the commonalities and start building from there.

I see a few commonalities between great leaders, and for me, the biggest one is a great leadership operating system. I’ve become increasingly fascinated by it over the last few years. A Chief of Staff’s primary objective is to extend and multiply the reach of the CEO and one of the first jobs on the list is to ensure that a leadership operating system is designed, built and fully operationalised to get the best from the executive (and the leadership team). I’ve been questioning, what are the components that are always 100% relevant, irrespective of team size and my view is that it is these five things:

  • Leading as your best true self incl. personal brand & storytelling capability
  • Energy management
  • Time & workload management
  • Strategic planning process
  • KPI monitoring

And it’s two of these particular components I want to dive into in more detail – the strategic planning process and KPI monitoring. We can look at these two components as planning for tomorrow, the strategic planning process and keeping quality up today, KPI monitoring.

Download our Ultimate Guide to Agency Operations

If you want to see Christina’s full advice on Leadership Operations, including the Strategic Planning Process and KPI Monitoring, download The Agency Collective’s Ultimate Guide to Agency Operations, via the form to the right.

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