The Leadership Challenge: bring out the best in your organisation

By Anne Sexton - Last update

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Do you know how to unleash the highest and best contribution of your teams toward your organisation’s most critical priorities? Today’s leaders must be able to see their staff as whole people – body, heart, mind, and spirit – and manage and lead accordingly.

As a result, leaders need to create a place where people want to stay and in which they are enabled to offer their best, time and time again.

Great leaders foster great teams which achieve great results

We know this, but we frequently struggle to apply it. Great leaders achieve organisational greatness through consistent and focused execution of the key objectives.

The transition from the Industrial Age to the Knowledge Worker Age has resulted in four chronic problems faced by today’s leaders. We’ll have a look at each of these.

Trust in leaders at historic lows

Just when the payoff for trust was never higher, we have wary customers, hesitant partners, a cynical public, and suspicious employees.

Strategic uncertainty

Challenges that once took years to materialise now arise overnight. Competitive advantages vanish, governments vie for capital and talent. In addition, hyper-paced technological change means that someone on the other side of the world just turned your business on its head.

An ominous shortage of experienced leadership

In some countries, throngs of leaders are retiring. And other rapidly-growing countries lack qualified leaders. The result? Inconsistent execution, weak decisions, missed opportunities, and unfulfilled employees.

The war for talent

Just when the right idea can change an industry, knowledge and creativity are at a premium – and totally mobile. People no longer satisfied with just showing up, want to make a difference. The best people hire their employers, not the other way around. And the contribution they can make is more motivating than their paycheck.

The Solution

Leaders unleash talent and capability by carrying out the 4 imperatives in a whole person way. They are sequential in that one builds upon another, and simultaneous; meaning that you must constantly pay attention to all four in order to sustain outstanding performance. Great leaders can be defined as having these four imperatives:

1.  Inspire trust – to build credibility as a leader, so that people will trust you with their highest efforts.

2. Clarify purpose – to define a clear and compelling purpose that people will want to offer their best to achieve.

3.  Align systems – to create systems of success that support the purpose and goals of the organisation, enable people to do their best work, operate independently of you, and endure overtime.

4. Unleash talent- to develop a winning team, where people’s unique talents are leveraged against clear performance expectations in a way that encourages responsibility and growth.

If you consistently focus on these four critical areas your leadership will achieve superior results, and more importantly superior consistent results.

This article has been kindly contributed by the Work Flow Zone, the Irish partners for the global leadership organisation FranklinCovey.

Anne Sexton

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