When scientists are asked what they are working on, their response is seldom ‘Finding the origin of the universe’ or ‘Seeking to cure cancer.’ Usually, they will claim to be tackling a very specific problem – a small piece of the jigsaw that builds up the big picture.” (Martin Rees).
Leadership might be thought of rather like a jigsaw. We have lots of pieces which need to fit together to allow us to see the whole picture. Alone, each piece is unlikely to tell us anything, although they may hint at our end result. If any of the pieces are missing, we have trouble in putting the whole thing together. If pieces are damaged, they may go into the wrong place or get squeezed uncomfortably into a gap. What then? Well, we could do a huge amount of work only to find that the end result looks most odd. It isn’t hard to relate this analogy to leadership in any organisation. The pieces might represent skills such as communication, strategic thinking or decision-making and they all need to fit together to make an effective whole. There is no single, isolated key to success. The healthy development of a variety of leadership skills and experiences is essential for the success of individuals, teams and the organisations in which they work. Sometimes, it just needs an external perspective to help visualise this and create the confidence to make it happen. This is where we step in with leadership coaching.