The sociopolitical skills inventory perfectly matches what is needed for a leader’s early success in a role/position. This is because the list comprehensively covers elements of structure and culture in an organization. In order to succeed, a new leader must acquaint themselves to organizational structures and leverage the same to ensure efficiency and effectiveness (Cameron & Green, 2009). Some of the structural elements present in the list include entering into established leader/employee networks, sensing and acting on organizational norms and interacting with organizational blockers and enablers. These elements of structure can help them complete tasks quickly and know what to do in different scenarios. Elements of culture on the other hand include vision, initiatives and beliefs which shall be integral in ensuring that they gel with the organizational priorities and prevailing interests. Others include being perceived as a team player and using communications to impact behavior.
There are some elements that need to be added to the list. First is a personal vision for success that one brings to their new position. As a new leader, the primary obligation is to steer the organization to new heights and most certainly one is hired because of their ability to bring about change. In the foregoing, a personal vision for success can be one of the most important tools that they can ever have. As much as they get to learn the organizational structures, cultures and prevailing strategy, they must present something new, which is a vision of the future they envisage. Also important is personal management. The new role shall come in with hefty demands to attend meetings and communicate with many people to hit the ground running, possibly taking a toll on the individual (Schein, 2010). As such, a personal management plan is critical to assuring work-life balance and good health to succeed in the new position.
Early efforts are critical for enduring success in the new role. This is because a huge number of them act as the foundation to the eventual success in the long term. Most of the things that one engages on in the beginning go a long way to determine how they shall fit in the existing organizational structure and culture, and more importantly, the relationships they shall have with people (Flamholtz & Randle, 2011). They acquire and exploit sources of power that allow them to gain commitment and cooperation from the rest of the workforce while also being able to complete their duties in a sustained manner. The early efforts also include early wins at the workplace that motivate the employees to get behind the new leader. These early successes also indicate that the leader is bringing change and their entry in the position shall be worthwhile. This builds confidence with all the stakeholders which shall be sustained in the long term.
Having practiced some of the elements in the sociopolitical skills inventory, it is apparent that learning occurs through planning for technical, cultural and political learning. Technical learning entails understanding products, strategy, operations and customers. One must be deliberate about their learning and plan for it (Alvesson, 2016). Without doing so, they shall not master the essential technical elements that shall help in the eventual delivery of their long term mandate. Cultural learning entails the norms and traditions of the organization while political learning covers how decisions are made and the key sources of power. Cultural and political learning was attained through observation. By looking at how people related, communicated and acted within the organization. Therefore there was planning (deliberate learning) and observation used in the process.
Alvesson, M. (Ed.). (2016). Organizational culture. Sage.
Cameron, E. & Green, M. (2009). How Organizations Really Work. Making Sense of Change Management: A Complete Guide to the Models, Tools, & Techniques of Organizational Change 2nd Ed. (pp. 98-108). London and Philadelphia: Kogan Page.
Flamholtz, E. & Randle, Y. (2011). Corporate Culture: The Invisible Asset. Corporate Culture: The Ultimate Strategic Asset. (pp. 3-25), Stanford, CA: Stanford Business Books.
Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership(Vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons.
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