Leadership for Scientists
The 4 BossDoc steps
Download as PDF Format: BossDoc 4 Steps
- As a single cell, to discover and develop yourself
- To succeed in the ‘tissue’ as a lateral leader within your team.
- To gain leadership skills just like just a ‘pacemaker cell.’ To keep your ‘organ’ (team) healthy and to improve its performance.
- To build a system of leaders, prevent and handle conflict and steer the entire organism (big team) as confidently as the brain steers the body.
I will help you at every step of the way, in identifying and building a healthy team.
1.Cell - Meet and discover yourself
Just as in biology where you begin your life as a single cell, you also begin your career as a single person. As a single person or cell you are fully functional and self-sufficient and capable of communicating with other people.
This is a great phase to focus on self-reflection and introspection. We could start by asking these basic questions.
- Who am I? (Reflection and personal psychology)
- How exactly do I function? (Personality test)
- How does my actions and interactions influence other people? (Personality and social psychology)
- What is my inner compass? (Values, beliefs)
- What can I do particularly well? What I´m not so good at? (Strengths and weaknesses)
- What do I love doing? (Motivation)
2.Tissue - Lateral leadership, team facilitation & coaching
Cells which have the same or different functions and specifications self-organize as a tissue. This is found, not only in cells but in human interactions as well. Scientists and researchers join together forming multifunctional teams. These teams are usually characterized by an absence of hierarchy. In some cases, a project manager without official authority is appointed. Now, just as the different combining cells require an extracellular glue, a team also requires a glue to function seamlessly. The question is: what is the ‘glue’ for a team and how and where can we get it? In my experience, it is made from the combination of trust, motivation, communication and a common orientation to one goal.
In this phase, workshops are addressed:
- Towards lateral leadership skills, which are applied when you don’t have official authority. You are given a fundamental insight into the nature of human beings, social psychology and communication.
- To you as a team, if you would like to evolve into an efficient team. This is done through an effective combination of coaching and facilitation.
3.Organ - How to lead your team
Consider a pacemaker cell in the heart. It lends the heart the impulse to work. In ensuring that a healthy rhythm is maintained, several parameters have to be measured, balanced, communicated and adjusted. As a leader who wants to build and maintain a healthy rhythm for the team, what are your tasks?
- Keep the big picture in sight.
- Find out the personality, motivation and function of each member of your team (psychology, communication, listening skills)
- Know potential risks (SWOT analysis).
- Set limits to when you increase or reduce the rhythm (goalsetting, feedback).
The pacemaker cell holds a leading role. It is necessary however, that it communicates, cooperates and delegates other functions to the specialists. As a leader it is vital to know the peculiarities, knowledge and strength of each individual in the team, and to act accordingly.
Consider also, the brain or central nervous system (CNS); in your case, this would be the boss or upper management who acts as the central point of control. It is from this point that general guidelines come from.
As a manager, you should learn how to skilfully assume your role in the sandwich position, and also how to efficiently communicate up and down the line.
Just as what the heart does is different from what the liver, spleen or lung does, this is how the task of individual managers vary. This depends on the team and the corporate culture in which they work. This is why you must never assume that you ‘already know.’
4.Brain - Control center
Executive coaching for leaders of big teams
As a leader with authority, you have the opportunity of getting into the control center. Just like the neurons and transmitters which connect in the brain, communication is key in this position.
As a junior leader, you have vouched that your team is ‘healthy, functional and free of disease.’ As a senior leader, you do the same thing but on a larger scale. In this case, you are not just looking after the function of just one team, but several teams. Needless to say, this requires a clear knowledge of yourself, your goal and your communication.