Saturday, 5 May 2012

How to progress as a Business Leader

Are you clear about what you are trying to achieve in your role as a business leader?

I recently asked a client of mine where their revenue target had come from. No one in the executive team knew where the figure had come from or why it should be at that level.

I became curious about whether they could be confident about meeting their target and if it really mattered and if they would be better focusing on the intractable problems which were limiting staff motivation and productivity and ultimately working against any financial target set.

Employees do not go to work motivated to meet a financial target and certainly not one that has no rationale.

Employees are motivated and inspired by a compelling ambition within which they have a clear role.

Few leadership teams talk together about what they want to achieve for the organisation and why. Without a clear purpose the job of leadership is just hard work.

All organisations need business plans and targets but these do not move the organisation forward.

Also much time has been wasted by many leaders developing missions and visions that provoke cynicism amongst those they are intended to inspire.

Research shows that leadership teams that discuss what they are aiming for are the ones that generate truly exceptional results. They discuss what they want to leave as a legacy - what will it be like to work here when we have achieved our ambition? What will people actually be doing that's different from now?

These conversations start with each member of the leadership team articulating the legacy that they want to leave behind.

In doing so, they bring forward and harness the deepest motivations of each leader.

During these discussions leaders develop a set of criteria to apply to decision making so that the day to day focus is complemented by an awareness of what it will take to transform the organisation and it’s results.

Such rigour results in clear and inspiring messages to take to the rest of the organisation, providing more understanding, commitment, trust and stronger alignment to the organisation.

What about your legacy?

What would make your time in your current role worth the vast commitment of your energy, resources and time?

Do you know the answers to these questions for each of the other members of your team?

Imagine how much energy and creativity would be unleashed if you did. What sort of impact might this might have on your results?

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