Leadership Information

Lead People...Manage Things


Master The Five Key Facets of High Performance Leadership

Many people in leadership positions struggle with understanding what makes a great leader. While billions of dollars are spent annually on leadership development, quality leadership is still in short supply.

Organizations have responded to the demand for high performance leadership with myriads of education and training programs and resources, which seem to be plentiful,...Amazon.com has over 9,000 references on leadership...yet most organized attempts at developing high performance leaders fail to achieve their aims.

So what does work?

In working with leaders we have isolated five key characteristics that successful leaders demonstrate. These work extremely well in all settings, be it governmental, non-profit or for-profit commercial. These five key facets of high performance leadership are universal.

They are easy to remember using the acronym FACET. Here they are...

Focus - Authenticity - Courage - Empathy - Timing

Focus

Effective leaders stay focused on the outcomes they wish to create, and don't get too married to the methods used to achieve them. They provide this 'outcomes focus' for their organization by emphasizing the mission, vision, values and strategic goals of their organization and at the same time building the capacity of their organizations to achieve them. This capacity building emphasizes the need to be flexible, creative and innovative and avoid becoming fossilized through the adoption of bureaucratic structures, policies and processes.

Authenticity

Leaders who are authentic attract followers, even leaders who are viewed as being highly driven and difficult to work for. Simply put, they are viewed as always being themselves?and therefore followers know what to expect from them and can rely on them, come thick or thin. Authenticity provides the leader with the currency to obtain 'buy-in' from key stakeholders, because it builds and maintains trust. Authenticity is the bedrock upon which the other facets are built.

Courage

The challenges facing leaders today are immense, and require great courage to overcome. Leaders are constantly being challenged by others, be it their own team, customers, the public or other stakeholders. Standing firm in the face of criticism, yet having the courage to admit when they are wrong, are hallmarks of courageous leaders. For example, shifting an organization from being introspective to becoming customer focused requires courage when people pay lip service to the new direction...it means calling people on their bluff.

Empathy

Effective leaders know how to listen empathetically?thus legitimizing others' input. By doing so, they promote consensus building, and build strong teams. They coach others to do the same, and so create a culture of inclusiveness. They tend to be great listeners who capitalize on the ideas of others, and provide recognition for these ideas, yet they don't get bogged down in overly complicated dialogue. While they create learning organizations that place a high value on dialogue and continuous feedback, they know when to take action, when to 'fish or cut bait', which brings us on to the final facet...

Timing

The one facet that can make or break a leader is in knowing when to make critical decisions and when not to. All of the other facets must be viewed as subservient to getting the timing of critical decisions right. There is a need to be focused, authentic, courageous and empathetic, but get the timing wrong on critical decisions and everything else stands to be nullified. Great leaders move with appropriate speed. They don't believe that everything must be done immediately...they know how to prioritize, and how to get their team to prioritize. As well, they engage in timely follow-through to ensure actions that are committed to happen in a well coordinated and timely way. They use time as an ally.

Is that all it takes to be a great leader?

These facets of high performance leadership are not exhaustive. Just as one would look at the facets of a diamond, upon closer observation other facets become observable. Any person can aspire to being a great leader by commencing with these facets. If you are in a leadership role, regardless of your position in your organization, start by asking yourself the following key questions:

Key Questions

How focused am I? How much of my time do I spend communicating and inspiring people about our mission, vision, values and strategic goals? How much focus do I create in my organization? How married am I/my organization to methods that have outlived their usefulness?

Am I viewed as authentic? Do people see and hear the real me? Do I wear a mask at work, and remove it when I leave each evening?

How courageous am I when my values, vision and goals are challenged? Do I stand firm and only change my position when I know that I am wrong? Do I have my team identify what they need to STOP doing, what they need to START doing and what they need to CONTINUE doing to achieve our focus?

How empathetic am I? Too much/too little? Do I create enough opportunities for open and candid dialogue? Do I ever find myself and my team getting bogged down in consensus building, or achieving false consensus? Is there a feeling of inclusiveness amongst the members of my team and throughout our organization, and with other stakeholders, including customers?

Do I make and execute decisions in a timely fashion? Do I know when to 'fish or cut bait?' - do I demand well coordinated and timely execution of strategy from others? Do I use time as an ally?

What you can do to create a high performance leadership culture...

Asking these questions in a candid way will open up many possibilities for you, your organization or your clients...if you have the courage as a leader to do it.

Building and sustaining a high performance leadership culture takes time, patience and a clear focus on the vital few characteristics that leaders can develop naturally and authentically. Listening to what people expect from you as a leader, and then responding empathically, in a timely fashion, will move you dramatically towards mastering these five key facets of high performance leadership.

Above all, you need to TAKE ACTION.

About The Author

Brian Ward is a Principal in Affinity Consulting. He works with senior and middle management and their teams to improve performance. His website is at http://www.affinitymc.com where you can sign up for his free monthly ezine Strategy in Action

brianward@affinitymc.com

  


MORE RESOURCES:

The Leadership Paradox
Huffington Post
The same might be said for leadership. There are more than fifty thousand titles available and hundreds more being published almost every month. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually on countless workshops and courses to train leaders.

and more »


blogs.hbr.org (blog)

You Have to Be Fast to Be Seen as a Great Leader
blogs.hbr.org (blog)
We recently analyzed 360 feedback evaluations on more than 50,000 leaders to assess the impact of speed on their colleagues' impression of each executive's overall leadership effectiveness. For this purpose, we created a “speed index” that measured ...

and more »


The Australian

Abbott faces leadership spill again, but Turnbull wants to wait
The Australian
IN 2010 the Labor Party destroyed two prime ministers, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, and ruined its government in the process — yet there is little sign the Liberal Party has learned, with an internal guerilla campaign destroying Tony Abbott and also ...
Liberal Party leadership set to become a three-way race9news.com.au
Turnbull, Bishop dismiss leadership talkSky News Australia
Malcolm Turnbull deflects leadership spill questions, says focus is on NSW ...ABC Online
Sydney Morning Herald
all 12 news articles »


The Power of Embodying Black Mastery and Our Full Leadership Potential
Huffington Post
For these leaders, personal liberation and social transformation were inseparable and the role of leadership was, at its heart, the practice of supporting everyday people in taking effective action to transform themselves and their conditions in the ...



CBC.ca

Rob Lantz wins PEI PC leadership
CBC.ca
Lantz talked about his two terms on Charlottetown city council and the leadership lessons he learned there. "I know how to listen. I know how to weigh the evidence and analyze the facts. I know how to make decisions," he said. "And, ladies and ...

and more »


Sydney Morning Herald

Julie Bishop weighs in to speculation Tony Abbott's leadership is under ...
Sydney Morning Herald
Mr Abbott has been hit by a damaging new round of leadership speculation, with reports backbenchers have told Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull he has the numbers to become leader but ministers will need to trigger another leadership spill.
Leadership the 'gift' of the party room, say MPs, as fresh move on Abbott buildsThe Guardian
Abbott sidesteps ongoing leadership talkSky News Australia
Liberal Party faces three-way tussle if leadership spill calledThe Daily Telegraph
The Saturday Paper (subscription)
all 531 news articles »


Cincinnati.com

Questions about leadership have united the Reds
Cincinnati.com
Joey Votto pulled the beat writers aside and gave an impassioned endorsement of the Reds leadership. Votto went out of his way to say it wasn't related to what Latos said. That was a couple of days after Votto took some shots at those who questioned ...
Byrd Brings Leadership to RedsWSAZ-TV

all 46 news articles »


The Tennessean

House Black Caucus: Butt should lose leadership role
The Tennessean
House Black Caucus Chairwoman Brenda Gilmore said House Speaker Beth Harwell told the caucus Thursday that she wouldn't remove Rep. Sheila Butt from her leadership position after Butt made a Facebook post lawmakers and others are calling racist.

and more »


Workers World

PFLP leadership meets with U.S. delegation
Workers World
The meeting was convened at the request of the U.S. delegation, which was eager to meet with the leadership of the Front and exchange political positions regarding the ongoing developments in Palestine and the region. The PFLP leaders discussed the ...



NavyTimes.com

Attack sub CO fired for leadership shortcomings
NavyTimes.com
The commanding officer of the attack submarine Mississippi, Cmdr. Tory Swanson, was fired by his boss Captain Harry Ganteaume, commander of Submarine Squadron 1, on Feb. 27. The relief, according to Cmdr. Brook DeWalt, spokesman for Submarine ...

and more »

Google News

Article List | Index | Site Map
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 CanadaSEEK.com - All Rights Reserved.