Performance Leadership 101

Performance Leadership 101

 Unfortunately, from a performance point of view, leadership is broken. When we look at the statistics, they are stark. We, as leaders, are leaving a lot of potential high performance on the table, untapped.

 The Gallup 2018 State of the Global Workforce Report says that 85% of the global workforce are either not engaged or actively disengaged. If this is translated into money, productivity, creativity, efficiency – well, it’s not good. Think about what the potential in your organisation could be if engagement was better. Actively engaged people are more productive, creative and efficient. With that comes an uplift in revenues, profits and happy people who will continue to do great work as long as they are engaged.

Of course, many leaders say – “Not in my organisation, I am people focused”

Are you sure about that?

Most leaders will recognise the importance of employee engagement, it is frequently cited as something that is “very important” to organisations.

But, are you really proactive in this area? I would say not, based on the numbers from Gallup. Even if you do, there is always room for improvement.

The great John Wooden used to say to his players:

“You can’t make up for a poor effort today by giving 110% tomorrow. You don’t have 110%. You only have 100%, and that’s what I want from you right now.”

He practised what he preached. John Wooden was one of the most successful basketball coaches of all time, revered by his players and staff.

This is what we want from ourselves and our people. The problem is, we demand it. We command it. We behave in a way that makes it very difficult for those same people to show up with their 100%. This lack of engagement is a leadership problem. This is broken leadership. How often do you take time to look in the mirror and have the bravery to acknowledge the reflection that you don’t like?

If we truly want to have people show up, show their best side, then we have to lead the way and lead in a different way. We have to be the first movers.

At its foundation, it’s a simple task. Not necessarily easy, but simple. We can do this by following a very simple rule…..

Performance Leadership 101: Don’t be an asshole

 This does not mean we behave weakly. In fact, it is the opposite. We interact with courage, integrity, respect and honesty. We set clear expectations, we are transparent, we are vulnerable.

It means having difficult conversations.

It means giving credit where it’s due and challenging behaviours that don’t work.

It means practising what we preach.

It is about setting high standards and bringing the best out of people.

It is anti-politics.

It is inclusive.

It is challenging.

It is being challenged.

It is fun.

It is showing up.

It is about doing all of this with authenticity.

This is the cornerstone of performance leadership, of developing high performance organisations. These are the hard skills of leadership that are so often written off as “soft skills”. Leadership is about people, relationships & courageous conversations. Leadership is giving a shit about the things that really matter, people!

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