Each year, Buffett hosts in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, about 160 business students from universities around the world. One question he usually gets is about how to know what career to pursue. How did the great man know that investing was the right career for him? Buffett answers in two parts. First, he says his “natural wiring” was made for capital allocation—that is, he just had a knack for knowing how to allocate financial resources into companies or other entities as a way to generate wealth. Buffett says that if he had been born in a country such as Sudan or Cambodia, without abundant private capital and a system of capital allocation, he would never have gotten to use his natural talents. Nor would he have succeeded in a different era when there was no capitalism. Buffett is very clear in recommending that people need to do what fits their natural mental makeup. How did he know that his wiring fit investing? The key was his love for it. His career advice is to find work or a career that you really enjoy, and it will fit the natural strengths of your mental wiring. Leadership Challenge #3 : Distinguish among various roles leaders play in organizations, including operations roles, collaborative roles, and advisory roles, and where your strengths might best fit. B. Matching Strengths with Roles Recent research suggests that different leader strengths might be better suited to different types of leadership roles. Exhibit 2.2: Three Types of Leadership Roles Exhibit 2.2 illustrates three types of leadership roles identified in today’s organizations by a team of experts at Hay Group. The researchers found that, although there is a core set of competencies that all leaders need, there is significant variation in the personal characteristics, behaviors, and skills that correlate with success in the different roles.
The operational role is the closest to a traditional, vertically oriented management role, where an executive has direct control over people and resources to accomplish results. Operational leaders are doggedly focused on delivering results. Successful operational leaders are typically analytical and knowledgeable, yet they also have the ability to translate their knowledge into a vision that others can become passionate about. The collaborative role is a horizontal role and includes people such as project managers, matrix managers, and team leaders in today’s more horizontally organized companies. Leaders in collaborative roles typically don’t have the strong position power of the operational role. Collaborative leaders need excellent people skills in order to network, build relationships, and obtain agreement through personal influence. Leaders in an advisory role provide guidance and support to other people and departments in the organization. Advisory leaders are responsible for developing broad organizational capabilities rather than accomplishing specific business results. Advisory leaders need great
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- Summer '14
- Economics, Leaders, LEADERSHIP ROLES