Just because you are good at getting your own work done does not mean you are ready for leadership. In fact, it might even be a hinderance.
Dr. Stan Ward presented this concept to the leadership team at Subaru of America’s Central Region – Dallas Zone office on May 2, 2016. His workshop challenged staff to think about their leadership skills in three different categories, or “buckets.” This three skill approach was originally created by R.L. Katz in 1955 but Dr. Ward applied and modified the approach into the following.
The three leadership skill categories or “buckets” are:
1. The technical bucket
The technical bucket involves working with processes primarily. Some examples of technical skills include working a specific process, number crunching, mastering a specific tool set, and hands-on activities that create and deliver products.
2. The relational bucket
The relational bucket involves working with people. Some examples of relational skills include working with a team, making conflict productive, active listening, and building trust.
3. The conceptual bucket
Lastly, the conceptual bucket involves working with ideas. Some examples of conceptual skills include vision casting, strategic thinking, reflecting on effectiveness, understanding how your work impacts other departments, and seeing problems “from the balcony.”
Dr. Ward explained that first promotions often come because we are good at the technical aspects of our job, but as we move up in an organization, relational and conceptual leadership skills become even more important. In fact, the move away from purely technical problems is one of the reasons that leadership can feel “messy.”
“I used to think that if I were a better leader, I would not have as many messy situations to address. Now I understand that it’s because of these messy situations that I am needed. Technical solutions are clear cut. Relational and conceptual ones are not.”
You can view Dr. Ward’s slide presentation and assess your own leadership “buckets” by watching his SlideShare: