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The Alchemy of Leadership Blog

Four Dimensional Leadership™ – Managing Out


Having previously discussed the vertical management skills of Managing Up and Managing Down, we now turn to the horizontal axis with Managing Out.  This dimension explores the horizontal axis, and what goes on outside the organisation.

It looks at the broader landscape of external stakeholders.  This includes shareholders and key governance stakeholders (founders, owners, private equity houses, funders), regulators, government, the media and also the communities within which your organisation functions.

In family businesses it includes other family members not necessarily working in the business together with trustees.  For charities and some not-for-profit organisations it can include volunteers, fund-raisers and members.

Whatever type of organisation you lead consider who your key stakeholders are and how you can influence them.  Can you build a network which endures through change?

The Runway programme addresses multiple leadership qualities within this dimension through the self-assessment questionnaire which groups them into five principal categories:



    • Exposure to Shareholders. Here we consider your involvement in results announcements and your exposure to brokers, shareholders and stakeholdersWe also look at your analytical and intuitive capacity to evaluate the value of acquisitions, mergers and disposals.

Successful leaders make a point of working with the CEO and CFO during the preparation of the annual results announcements and annual reviews.  They keep up to date with analyst reports, and spend time with shareholders who provide a unique outside perspective of the company’s performance.  They are also involved in all aspects of M&A work.



    • Exposure to Analysts/Brokers (including banks and investors) considers your exposure to the City. How much time do you invest in visiting the financial institutions/funders of your institution and how well do you understand the role of the CFO and their interaction with investors?

Intuitive leaders have a good working knowledge of how markets operate.  They understand what drives the share price up and down, and they are clear on the individual influences with the outside world.



    • Media Relationships focuses on how you communicate with and inspire confidence when dealing with external stakeholders, volunteers or members. It also reflects on your PR skills

Effective leaders are used to being visible and are able to be themselves when being scrutinized publicly about their business.  They invest time in getting used to the media, undertaking training to develop their external communication skills, and participating in external interviews that are not about their current company.



    • Exposure to Customers. How much time do you spend with your customers?  For charities and some not-for-profit organisations the same question applies to volunteers, fund-raisers and members.

Customer-centric leaders interact frequently with a wide range of customers.  They seek to meet their customers' needs and create a customer-focused culture in their organisations.



    • Finally, how well do you manage your External Network and Personal Brand? What is the extent of your exposure to managing multiple stakeholders and people influential to the business (i.e. customers, supply chain, politicians; regulators; pressure groups, NGO’s)?

Engaging leaders build a support network of key contributors and relevant ‘thought leaders’ outside the organisation who can act as trusted advisers.  They also give serious thought to their own profile, values and reputation, and are able to project this in a clear and consistent way. 


The fourth dimension, Managing In, reflects on the opposite end of the axis.  It questions your self-management, and looks towards the future, helping you plan your continuous personal development and career path.

Runway uses the Four Dimensional Leadership™ model as the core framework for the programme.  Run predominantly as an open programme*, individuals from different business backgrounds come together to reflect on, compare and develop their management and leadership skills, as well as build their own personal development plan.

The next one-day Runway programme is on 19 November 2015.  Places available.


*Runway is also now available as a closed programme exclusively for one organisation, or as part of a consortium where 3-4 organisations each send multiple delegates.  Contact us for more information.

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