Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The High Performing Leader, Defined

Of course, if you have reached the executive level, you must already be a high performing leader. So, does it really matter how “self-aware” you are or how tuned in you are to others’ feedback? I have plenty of executive and business owner clients who at the beginning of our engagement would argue that it does not. In cases like these, we take some time to break apart what it means to be a high-performing leader.

Where some of these leaders are doing well is on business measures like revenue, market share, thru-put, earnings-per-share, or defect-free products. It’s in the other areas of their role as company leader that they may not be performing quite as effectively, such as in motivating, managing, clarifying, and inspiring their team and employees. Red flags that these issues are occurring may show up in the form of high turnover, production problems, and unionization by employees. When leadership breaks down in EQ-related areas, the other business functions get compromised too, even if it isn’t always immediately evident. Sometimes the question has to be asked: Is there a secret cancer in your organization that you don’t know about because no one’s giving you the feedback you really need to hear?

No matter how “good” you feel you are performing or how great the company seems to be doing, the question remains: how much better might the company do if you added your own performance development as a leader to your business strategy? A high-performing leader, in the fullest sense, is able to not only create results but is able to lead the individuals creating the results, amounting to an optimally successful organization.


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