Leadership failure rarely is the result of the absence of technical skill and intellect but incompetence in behavioural skill. You only need to look at the daily news headlines to substantiate the credibility of this statement. You gain higher levels of management responsibility based on your individual technical skill performance. Your overall leadership success is clearly dependent on your behaviour skills since senior leadership achievement is strategic oriented rather than operational. The truth is that the so-called soft skills of behaviour are really the hard skills that create the measure of influence in your leadership accomplishment and your organizational performance.
Time and again the fundamental problems of employees related to the lack of engagement and work performance stems from how people consistently experience their leader’s negative behaviour. (See SHRM, “7 Tips to Increase Employee Engagement”, Tamara Lytle, Sept. 22, 2016). These leadership failures can be directly linked to the absence in consistent, positive behaviour, to the three fundamental elements of influential leadership: self-awareness, collaboration, and connection. You must remember that individual leader behaviour is singularly the most important predictor to organizational performance.
Regardless of an official title at work, or in your community – whether you realize it or not — you are a leader. Every time you connect with someone, you have the opportunity to lead thru influence, and so, we are all Influential Leaders. A key factor to your leadership influence is discovering and developing self-awareness. Self-awareness is all about being intentional and purposeful in managing your behaviour. Following this principle leaders need to take the time to periodically evaluate their behaviour performance in light of their technical performance. The only alternative to this process of intentional, self-evaluation is to put your behaviour on autopilot. … but the experience of two commercial airline pilots overflying their destination city by over an hour is testament to the danger of relying on an autopilot – especially with something as critical to organizational performance as highly developed and effective relationships.
Albert Einstein wrote, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” I would like to modify his words to read that these significant problems cannot be solved with the same level of behaviour we were at when we created them. The good news is we can change. Intentional and purposeful self-evaluation is imperative to identifying and correcting leadership lapses and weaknesses in behaviour. Highly effective, influential leaders thrive on daily feedback regarding how others are experiencing them in their leadership behaviour. How about you? Are you the kind of leader others desire to follow? Would you follow you as a leader? Beginning the process of consistent feedback on your behaviour may begin to make the difference for you in both your personal and organizational performance. You cannot overcome and win your performance challenges alone.
Influential Leaders recognize the importance of self-awareness, collaboration, and connection. They spend time focusing their efforts in key areas that strengthen connections with the people they lead to drive performance. They focus these efforts around the leadership skills that create behaviour capacity. One such skill is the skill of Positive Presence™, an innovative thought model connecting workplace behaviour to human energy and equips leaders with the knowledge and understanding necessary for developing and sustaining the behaviour skills indicative of strong relationships in an energized work force. When you have meaningful relationships with other people you work more effectively together. You have a common goal and a consistent purpose. Your efforts are channeled toward the same common outcome and you drive performance in the organization to peak levels. This is when you make the magic happen for you and your organization. This is worth thinking about today!