I was having a discussion recently about leadership frameworks, and found myself stumbling with the description of the leadership lattice - a learning framework for management. This post explores that the Lattice is also a way of managing focus as a leader.

  • Leadership is an exercise in managing attention. While you are ultimately accountable for everything that happens in an organization, you can only focus on one thing at a time.
  • To decide where to focus, it helps to understand that companies and markets operate as systems - and can be broken down into components.
  • The “company system” starts with the individual and ends with the impact we want to see in this world.
  • The individual components that support this: the governance model for the company, the individuals in the organization (including the leaders), the systems of organization (teams), the products and services offered, how they are received in market, and the collective impact of the company.
  • Where to focus depends on the company stage. For example - most new startups are (should be) only concerned with how their products are received in market.
  • This framework also acts as a filter to manage tasks. A task that doesn’t fall within one of the component categories may not be helpful.

The lattice was developed primarily as a learning framework - but it’s simplicity makes it useful for managing focus and being a more productive leader.