How to Become A High Performing Leader
These are nine key areas of development important for high performance leadership.
1. Awareness, Beliefs, and Values. Typically, as children, many of our major decisions are made for the purpose of survival. We seek to make sense of the world around us and reach an acceptable level of comfort and safety. Over time, our beliefs, formed as a response to our family values, begin to create our world: first, we believe what we see, and then we see what we believe. To increase your performance , you will need to sharpen your awareness, identify the beliefs that affect your performance, and learn to become aware of the pattern of movement that supports the attainment of your vision. This understanding, commitment, and willingness to observe your beliefs and behaviors is profound. As you learn to listen to your inner awareness and personal truth, you will experience greater personal effectiveness and peace of mind.
2. Integrity and Responsibility. When a person is in a state of integrity, he or she appears to be like an alchemist: what he or she touches turns to gold, that is, success. Life seems easy. When decisions and actions are congruent with their values, these people experience undiminished energy and replenished inner resources. Integrity is always obvious to those who have a fair share of it themselves. High performance leaders are models of integrity. If you learn how to trust and be at ease with difficult decisions, you will be able to sleep at night!
3.Responsibility: Responsibility connects you to your creative force. To some, the word “responsibility” may connote doing the right thing or bearing the burden of obligation. In the context of high performance leadership, to be personally responsible means “response-ability.”
Response-ability helps to align every aspect of the business to the vision. You will find that response-able actions create an irresistible magnetism for the resources, people, and events necessary to the accomplishment of goals.
High performance leaders are not bound by the past or seduced by the future. They know that although the legacy, history, and vision of the company are crucial aspects of an elegant strategy for the future, they can count on their commitment, knowledge, and personal integrity to make the correct decisions at the correct time.
4.Vision and Action. The ability to create a clear and powerful vision of a desired outcome is an indispensable element of success for the high performance leader. The vision, coupled with a clear knowledge of current reality, enables a leader to identify the actions that will lead to desired results. High performance leaders have to examine their purpose and vision, making sure it aligns with the vision of your organization. If it doesn’t, they have to find ways that it can. They have to learn how to embody a shared vision. They also have to foresee the potential obstacles to achieve this vision and discover ideas for removing them.
5.Listening and Communicating. The art of powerful communication is not difficult to master, nor is it some kind of magical skill that only a lucky few possess. A high performance leader communicates vision, ideas, and intended results with power, clarity, and simplicity. When the leader can communicate his meaning through the words he speaks and is able to hear the meaning in another person’s words, the result is connection and understanding. He or she is “in sync” with the people around him. For high performance leaders, all conversations are meaningful, and transferring knowledge and confidence with each word they speak is an ordinary part of their workday.
6.Intention, Motivation, and Influence. Many of us find it difficult to inspire peers and team members to be truly powerful, personally responsible, and genuinely self-starting. Learning to become aware of other’s intentions and dreams is a skill needed to achieve the desired results. High performance leaders motivate and influence by demonstration, empathy, and dialogue. The “rah, rah, sis boom bah” of the past is no longer relevant. Leaders need to learn how to naturally inspire others to be their best and get results. Leaders will also have to learn how to create a team that is self-aware, self-starting, self-motivating, and self-influencing.
7.Thriving in Paradox. We live in a time of unprecedented, ever-present, and accelerating change. The core skill of masters in leading change is the ability to deal with paradox. You should be able to handle many seemingly contradictory behaviors, ideas, or situations at the same time. Developing this ability is part of the process of moving from being individual contributors to leading a team or leading the company.
The dilemma is: how to take care of business? The answer is to keep operations going evenly from day to day and, at the same time, innovate and take risks. Alone, neither will create success. You need to learn how to identify and enjoy paradox. This includes all your experiences, no matter how chaotic, while maintaining the ability to decide when and how to take action.
8.Conflict. How we respond to conflicts—internally and externally —is our own choice. The high performance leader learns to acknowledge what is really going on. He or she gains the advantage of a clear choice and the ability to respond to conflict creatively rather than as a reaction to the past. Stress and anxiety are not a part of the process.
Conflict is an opportunity to grow and not cause for stress. You have to resolve intense, real-life business or personal conflict situations and learn how internal stress can be transformed into motivation. Stress is a constant and is an aspect of every process. It is neutral and need not be experienced as negative.
9.Empowerment and Synergy. Many leaders believe empowerment means giving authority and increasing another’s self-esteem. This misunderstanding of empowerment has created organizational crises and chaos. A high performance leader understands that empowerment occurs when the other person truly “gets” what you are passing on to him or her—both the content and the context. How you pass on skills and knowledge is as important as the skills and knowledge.