In a recent Execution Insights I highlighted the importance of leadership behavior for exemplary leaders.
However, this is only half the battle of being an exemplary leader. A successful leader must also lead his/her team to extraordinary results that are consistent and predictable. Consistency and predictability are the outcomes of disciplined process and entrepreneurial spirit. As stated by Jim Collins, “When you put these two complementary forces together – a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship – you get a magical alchemy of superior performance and sustained results.”
Consider leadership process as concentric circles rippling out from the leader. The innermost circle represents the personal workflow of the leader. Mastering personal workflow is key to the success of any leader. As Peter Drucker so famously said, “If you cannot manage yourself for effectiveness, you cannot expect to manage others.” When a leader masters their personal workflow, they achieve a level of focus and proactive behavior that is a model for their team.
The next set of concentric circles is focused on the process and disciplines of a team:
- Common goals, execution priorities and performance indicators
- Visible targets and progress tracking
- Meeting rhythms that drive team discussion, problem solving, and maintain a culture of accountability for results
The final set of concentric circles is focused on those the team serves, whether internal or external clients and partners. These disciplined processes involve commitments to excellence;
- Delivering on the organizations Brand Promise
- Measuring reputation and customer loyalty – not subjectively but objectively with numbers
- Regularly gathering direct feedback from customer and partners
- Using direct customer/partner feedback to drive a continuous improvement culture
These are all fairly simple concepts and processes any team desiring to achieve excellence can master. While it may be simple, it certainly isn’t easy. It requires leadership, passion and accountability. However, the extraordinary business results you experience will more than justify the effort!