In the old television show Star Wars, Captain Kirk and his Vulcan first-officer "Spock" played 3-dimensional chess. They played three chess boards at once, and could move their chess pieces between boards.
The game took tremendous skill, because it required simultaneous focus across three different dimensions. Decisions made at one level impacted every level. Leadership is the same way.
Leadership plays out in three settings - the personal, interpersonal and group. Think of these as a 3-dimensional chess board. For example, decisions you make in private are later shared with the group.
THE DIFFERENT LEADERSHIP SETTINGS
Leaders act alone. Decisions are typically made in private. All the activities that precede and follow decisions occur in private, too. The analysis, judgement, planning, rehashing and second-guessing all occur in private.
Leaders act 1-on-1. Leaders influence individuals. They’re motivating a person to do something, not a team. The direction, feedback and coaching is targeted to the individual. The personal relationship is key.
Leaders act in front of groups. Leaders influence teams. They share values, set standards and promote teamwork. They create a work environment, team dynamic and culture for everyone to experience.
WHY THESE SETTINGS MATTER
- Managers get tested in each area - leaders can't avoid any setting. Even an experienced leader can be exposed.
- Settings are inner related - ex. decisions made in private are played out in public. A weakness is one setting impacts the others.