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The Alchemy of Leadership Blog

Four Dimensional Leadership™ Framework – Managing Down


In our recent posts, Patrick Macdonald and I have introduced the School for CEOs’ Four Dimensional Leadership Framework and explored the Managing Up dimension.  In this post we will be looking at Managing Down.  This is the dimension which considers how you lead your immediate team and bring wider organisational leadership.

In Managing Down, we focus on your leadership skills, both of your own team and more broadly, so that you develop your followers in turn.  We look at the challenges of communication and scalable leadership - touching everyone in the organisation - and look at your mentoring of others.  We consider how you provide clear direction and inspirational leadership working through others via delegation and inclusive participation.    We show how leaders who spend time getting to know people are able to unlock commitment and discretionary effort.

If you come on our Runway programme, you’ll consider the attributes you need to master in order to demonstrate you’re ready to step up to the next level.  Participants answer a self-assessment questionnaire themed around the four dimensions.  Using the results, together with any previous feedback you may have, you will create your personal development plan, support your development over the next 3-5 years.

For Managing Down we ask you to consider and think on three critical key areas:


    1. Mobilising your Immediate Team - how effective are you at enabling others to deliver results and build strong performance throughout the organisation? How much time and personal attention do you give to managing your best talent?  Can you motivate, inspire and get the best out of strong leaders?

Great leaders know that to achieve empowerment and engagement by means of authority alone and imposing their will on others, whilst useful, is limited.  The know how to get the best out of each individual.  They pay attention to them as individuals and let them know they are valued.

    1. Organisational & Strategic Leadership – how much impact and influence do you have across your organisation? How effective are you at framing and redefining the strategic direction of the business?  How effectively do you communicate your values and those of the organisation?  How broad and diverse is your experience to fulfil more senior leadership position.

Winning leaders know what the core capacities are of a healthy organisation.  They take the time to understand the limitations of the existing culture and to adapt the culture to meet the organisation imperatives.  They understand the forces created in social and organisational situations that derive from culture.

    1. Relationship Management - how honest and transparent are you with others? Do you know when to exercise judgments regarding the non-disclosure of information in line with the ethics and values of the organisation?  How well developed is your emotional intelligence (EQ)?

Successful leaders do not put personal interests ahead of organisational interests.  They take the time to step back from the day-to-day.  They observe and reflect on the organisation system dynamics at work.  They continuously communicate through various formal and informal channels.

EQ is proven to be key to career success


The ability to be aware of one’s emotions, and those of others, and then to use the knowledge to help manage the expression of emotions so that they foster success instead of causing roadblocks is proven to be key to career success.  People with highly developed EQ are proven to be more successful in the workplace because they can understand their emotions and why they behave the way that they behave.

We know from the experience of our accomplished Faculty - supported by our own research - that the way in which we manage-down changes as we rise towards more senior positions.

Our next post will consider the third dimension Managing Out, which focuses on the outside world.  This broader landscape of external stakeholders includes shareholders, founders, owners, private equity house, Trustees, Regulators, Government, pressure groups, NGO’s, the media, customers and the communities within which your organisation operates.

The next Runway programme will be on 19 November 2015.  Places available.

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