Management experts and corporate leaders see leadership as fundamental to corporate success. This is largely the case. However, there is more to this because changes in the corporate world in the past 20 years have shown that ultimate corporate success depends on demonstrated quality leadership at all levels of the organizational hierarchy. Simply put, ultimate corporate success is a function of how well each key person in your business leads themselves and produces high performance based on self-motivated behavior or leadership. Therefore, it is imperative that you promote self leadership behaviors, attributes and attitudes for sustainable high performance in your business. This way, you would be cultivating high-performance champions in your organization. That is, people who commit to a vision of personal and corporate excellence and live the habits of sustainable high performance. Here are seven practical steps for promoting self leadership for high performance in your business.
First, define, agree and establish a high performance agenda or mandate reflecting the strategic realities and direction of your organization. The history of corporate success in the last 50-75 years shows that at the root of the enduring success of great organizations all over the world is a clear and vivid understanding of the high performance mandate in the long haul. Therefore, take as much time as is required to carve out, clarify and establish high performance agenda for sustainable corporate success.
Second, identify, agree, cultivate and cascade the philosophy and values of high performance at personal, team, and corporate levels in your organization. The challenge is to align the responsibilities and attitudes required by the high performance agenda with the philosophy and values that drive the behavior of your key people as high performing individuals and teams.
Third, sell your high performance agenda to the key people in your business. Rally them to wholly commit themselves to the high performance mandate. Integrate this agenda in all facets of your business. Challenge and support your key people to develop the capacity to envision their roles, responsibilities and contributions at personal, team and corporate levels to achieve your high performance mandate.
Fourth, create the machinery to foster quality self leadership for high performance in your business. You may start this with an open house during which you explore the issues identified under all the previous steps. The open house should be inclusive and truly ‘open’, allowing your people to ventilate ideas on performance, organizational life, team life, and relational and institutional factors,and to develop action plans on quality self leadership development, and agree indicators of self guided high performance. This would be followed by informal opportunities to interact and share ideas on self leadership for high performance. You may create a self leadership guide, perhaps, emerging from the open house and subsequent feedback and inputs, which could be used by your key people for self-monitoring.
Fifth, deliberately commit the organizational systems and resources to make self-leadership for high performance happen. You would consider issues such as: What systems and processes would you deploy such that your business develop the corporate drive for high performance? What would you be doing to the organization’s way of life to keep the agenda, values and philosophy of self-directed high performance front of mind with your people?
Sixth, optimize the reward system to promote self leadership and self-motivated behavior for high performance. This requires that you align the reward system with all aspects of organizational life at team or group level as well as at corporate level.
Seventh, personally model self-leadership for high performance in business life. Do this genuinely and deliberately make it obvious.