Leadership Skill Development: The Four Principles of a High Performance Leader
by Peter McLean
Leaders and top managers create the culture of their business. It is therefore critically important to recruit and retain the right kinds of people at the top in leading and managing your business to high performance.
Among other things, people who display the qualities of good leadership in business are expected to be highly ethical and organized and to manage against the detailed objectives of the small business plan, while simultaneously having a grasp of the "big picture," strategic agenda of the business.
In addition, they are expected to manage budgets and finance well and to exhibit the finer points of dealing effectively and compassionately with the people in their charge. Likewise, they are held accountable for developing new business opportunities.
Despite how difficult it is for a single individual to meet all of these diverse expectations, more and more this is precisely what is being demanded of top managers in business.
How is possible for a leader to live up to these standards? In fact, there are four principles that if adopted and practiced consistently will help the business manager achieve a coherent and congruent management approach that delivers high performance and achieves outstanding results, not just within themselves, but indeed within the people around them as well.
Possess a Personal Sense of Mission, Vision and Values
In the value-based business, this is the centering principle for the highly effective business person. You must know the ground on which you stand, at the personal level, to ensure high leveraged business activity and high performance outcomes in the sphere of the business.
If you are not personally grounded in a strong sense of Mission, you have no clarity of vision, you are unsure of your personal values and the behavior you expect of yourself and you will, quite simply, never become a high performing business person.
Only when you have these basic elements of Mission, Vision and Values right in your own life can you align them with those of your business. Champions in business are defined by the fact that their personal goals and objectives are aligned with those of their business.
Develop a Personal Sense of Responsibility and Accountability
Having defined and clearly articulated your own sense of Mission, Vision and Values, you must then develop within yourself a personal psychology that is grounded in taking responsibility and being accountable for your own performance in achieving business outcomes.
This mindset comes about by making a deliberate choice to develop your skills in this respect. You must choose to speak and act in keeping with your personal value base. Use positive words. Refuse to make excuses. Never blame others. Face up to your own mistakes. Focus on the realities of a business situation. Always listen to what others are saying. Control your tongue, and ask questions. These are the signs of the exercising emotional intelligence in business.
If you practice this principle, you will find that you speak with integrity and behave in ways that deliver outstanding performance at the intra-personal, interpersonal and business levels.
Further, adherence to this principle insures that all your action is aligned and driven by your own value base.
Sharpen Personal Skills in Sharing Information and Communicating Effectively
The third principle in becoming a high performance business person is creating a business environment where information sharing and communication are open and transparent.
If you work on the premise that all achievement in business comes as the result of working with, through and for others, you will be pleasantly surprised by the impact and the results that this approach delivers in the enhancement of corporate team building.
By operating in this way, a multiplying effect occurs, which insures all activities in the business are integrated and optimized.
The high performance business person develops and sharpens their skills in information sharing and communication as part of a never ending cycle of learning.
By following this principle and creating a business culture of openness and transparency, we build trust in all of our relationships and increase and enhance the involvement of others in effective decision making throughout the organization.
Learn How to Identify Gaps and Manage Them
The final principle is the leadership principle. Leadership is the ability to identify and assess business gaps and manage the processes and people to address them.
Leadership in business is also the ability to see the opportunity for creating a new gap and then bridging it by introducing processes to address its closure. Consciously creating and bridging such gaps propels the business to new, higher levels of performance and success.
This principle builds on the second principle of personal responsibility and accountability discussed above. Learning how to see problems and create opportunities is a skill that the successful business person develops in themselves. In order to develop it, however, the leader must first have a clear sense of responsibility and accountability.
In developing and practicing this skill, the leader insures that all of the people around them are equipped with the right mindset, an effective tool set and are themselves developing the skills required in exercising this leadership principle throughout the business.
Adopting the four principles outlined above and practicing them continually delivers high performance business people, positive work cultures and successful business results.
Peter McLean is a highly experienced Coach, Senior Manager, Consultant, Business Owner and Company Director. He successfully coaches top Executives in some of Australia’s leading multi-national companies. One such Senior Executive recently won an International Award for Excellence within his particular field. In addition, Peter works extensively in the Public, Private, Commercial and Not-for-Profit sectors, delivering outstanding results for his clients. To learn more of how you can benefit from Peter’s experience, visit the Essential Business Coach web site!