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:

Opinion: California's leadership structure is weak
Sacramento Bee
Civic leadership is one of those intangibles whose existence is difficult to define, much less prove. When a city, a county or a state is functioning well – providing vital public services at reasonable cost, educating its children, balancing its ...



Patch.com

Youngest Female Ever Elected To Congress Helps Kickoff Dold's Young ...
Patch.com
The youngest woman ever to be elected to the United States House of Representatives inspired young women during a launch event for the 10th District Young Women's Leadership Academy Monday in Lake Forest. Dozens of young women from throughout ...

and more »


Twitter, Inc. Under Dick Costolo's Leadership: Better Than You Think
Motley Fool
... a different picture. Through effective monetization of its users, Twitter's revenue is soaring. First-quarter revenue, for instance, was up a whopping 74% from the year-ago quarter. Twitter's revenue has spiked rapidly under Costolo's leadership ...



The Guardian

Cameron looks to Labour leadership battle for answer to Syrian question
The Guardian
He is likely to want to know the identity of the next Labour leader before putting any further bombing campaign to the Commons. All-party support is not a prerequisite, but given his small majority and the continuing scepticism among Tory MPs, he would ...
What does potential military action in Syria mean for the Labour contest?New Statesman

all 951 news articles »


Fortune

Donald Trump's 3 biggest leadership mistakes
Fortune
We all make mistakes, but being able to recover from those mistakes is critical for good leadership. After Trump put his foot in his mouth, he should have apologized immediately. An apology would not have completely erased the trauma that his remarks ...
Thursday Buzz: Leadership Lessons From Donald Trump (Really)Associations Now
Hispanic leaders want GOP leadership to condemn Trump's 'idiocy'WXOW.com

all 939 news articles »


Forbes

Was I Wrong To Criticize My Boss's Leadership Style?
Forbes
Gina says that it's not a performance review and that she expects us to critique her performance as a leader as much as she critiques us. Gina doesn't realize that she does not operate like a leader. She doesn't have a vision, she doesn't make plans ...



TIME

50 Inspiring Quotes on Leadership for Everyone
TIME
Every great leader has faced a challenge that defined their greatness, which is why we often turn to their advice when needed. Whether you're an entrepreneur, business owner, or team leader, here are 50 inspirational quotes on leadership for when you ...



Connell, David represent county at TFB leadership conference
Waxahachie Daily Light
For 52 years, the Texas Farm Bureau's Youth Leadership Conference has equipped students with leadership skills and economic knowledge as well as boosted their confidence with goal setting activities. High school juniors and seniors from across the ...

and more »


Salt Lake Tribune

Kate Kelly out as leader of Mormon group Ordain Women
Salt Lake Tribune
"What we lose [with Kate's departure] is not leadership," said Jenson, who will remain OW's chairwoman until at least October. "We lose her skill set and passion, but it does not leave us rudderless." The board is "stable," she said, "and likely to ...
Kate Kelly steps down from Ordain Women leadership boardDeseret News

all 50 news articles »


TIME

The 9 Traits That Define Great Leadership
TIME
Many leaders are competent but few qualify as remarkable. If you want to join the ranks of the best of the best, make sure you embody all these qualities all the time. It isn't easy, but the rewards can be truly phenomenal. 1. Awareness There is a ...

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.