Leadership Effectiveness: What Do You Believe?
Many CEO's and executives would concur with the truism that "leadership" is ultimately more important than "management." But when it comes to real performance, superficial assent is not enough. The critical issue is what do you actually believe about leadership. Research has proven that what you believe will ultimately drive what you do and the results. So if you are looking for superior results, you need to first go upstream and assess your beliefs about leadership which will drive behaviors and ultimate outcomes. Evaluating and believing the truth about effective leadership will make you a better leader and help you take yourself and your organization to the next level. In this article, we hope to shed some light on "championship" leadership and tools we utilize to help executives get there.
The place to begin, however, is a little bit of healthy self-examination. This simple self-assessment will help you in a journey to greater effectiveness.
Leadership and Management are intertwined but they are different and distinct. Management is the strategy and tactics that businesses employ to generate return on investment. Obviously, solid Management is critical and can easily usurp 100% of one's time. But solid Management is only 50% of the equation - Leadership is the other 50% needed to drive superior Team and Business performance.
To estimate real effectiveness use this multiplication equation:
- Rate yourself on each component seperately: Management, then Leadership, from 1 to 10 with one being minimum and ten maximum.
- Before you settle on a rating, review your calendar and "to do" list - are they jammed full of urgent Management activities? Does your calendar indicate that important Leadership activities are planned for and routinely addressed - or is Leadership squeezed out?
- Reflectively inquire - try to be accurate on how you affect performance through active and positive Leadership. Active and positive Leadership is analogous to "quality" time in personal relationships - just being there or having the title is not good enough. Active and Positive requires planning plus execution.
Once you rank your Management effectiveness and Leadership effectiveness from 1 to 10 each, then multiply those two numbers to estimate real effectiveness. The maximum effectiveness would of course be 10×10 = 100
Worst Case Leadership Effectiveness Scenario:
A Leader so focused and caught up in urgent Management that they rarely invest time in important Leadership.
Their equation is a Management score of 9, times a Leadership score of 2 resulting in 18.
Best Case Leadership Effectiveness Scenario:
A Leader who attends to urgent Management priorities and supports with that focus with important active and positive Leadership expressions.
That equation is a Management score of 8 times a Leadership score of 7 equaling 56 or three fold larger.
What is True Leadership?
True Leadership is the multiplier affect that exponentially grows your performance and ultimately increases a Team's and a Business' return on investment.
How to Improve Your Leadership Effectiveness?
Start with your Management and Leadership beliefs. Sequentially, beliefs drive actions, which accumulate into behaviors - which ultimately create results. So if you want different results you must start upstream. If your belief is "Leadership is control – full control where others accept without question and fully execute your delegation," this discussion on Active and Positive Leadership will feel off base.
I submit rather than control, today's Leadership power is influence, influence to create the environment where individuals become engaged champions of their specific roles and responsibilities. Having champions - in customer service, champions in production and champions in the field – creates championship results for the team as a whole.
Lead a Team of Champions
Quoting National Champion Coach Nick Saban (2009 winner of The Pacific Institute's Leadership Innovation Award) "You have to have a team full of champions before you'll ever win a championship." A key to Leadership is using positive influence to inspire employees to engage and become individual champions. Delegation is significantly short of attaining the championship level. Inspiring individual champions to fulfill their roles and responsibilities so they continually innovate and collaborate to meet the business dynamics is the championship level. Leadership influence facilitates alignment with goals. When teams are aligned and engaged, great results become the norm.
This seems like common sense, but study after study report a severe lack of engagement in organizations. In fact, many of the studies indicate 70% of employee's are not engaged. The key to reversing that in any organization first starts at the top and the quest for the application of effective leadership.
What Do You Think and Believe About Leadership?
For now, let's focus on beliefs. To help Leaders clearly see and understand their beliefs and behaviors we use The Circumplex®, a scientific survey tool that organizes a Leader's Impact® into 12 distinct Behaviors. Maximizing the Constructive Style Behaviors (Achievement, Self-Actualizing, Humanistic-Encouraging, and Affiliative) are those that contribute to the Active and Positive Leadership Influence needed to build champions. So as a Leader what do you believe about Active and Positive Leadership. It's hard to know clearly what you believe and translate those into behaviors that create results. It's really difficult to look at oneself but it's truly the starting point.
The Temple of Delphi in ancient Greece stated "Know Thyself" as a requirement to find success. So think through what you believe about your Leadership and separate urgent Management activities from important Leadership priorities. Be candid about quality time vs. just being there. Once you firmly establish what you believe then initial plans and ultimately execution follow naturally.
Research and Development by: Robert A. Cooke, Ph.D., J. Clayton Lafferty, Ph.D., Copyright © 2003, 1989, 1987 by Human Synergistics, Inc. All Rights Reserved