Leading Performance and Change – “Whom Do I Lead? – Part III”
Having identified the “tangibles” of whom is led (self and others), the next category is more of a “what” is led. Besides the clearer human targets of subordinates, peers, bosses, teammates, leaders are at the front of the crowd with respect to leading the things that happen in an organization. For the purposes of this segment, we’ll focus on performance and change.
Leaders know who the “customer” is for an organization, and understand the difference between customers and the boss and know how to balance competing depends. They continually seek to measure and monitor the degree to which customers needs are met or exceeded and always look for improvement.
Successful mature leaders plan, organize, and prioritize tasks and responsibilities and ensure that improving the “process” is always a focus of time investment. They do not fear or avoid change, but instead recognize that change is a necessary and important part of organizational growth and stability.
Leaders identify and analyze problems by using facts, input, and reasoning to explore various alternatives, distinguish between the relevant and irrelevant, reach conclusions, and commit to action. They do these things even in times of uncertainty.
Successful leaders can encourage and facilitate open communication regardless of controversy while maintaining their relationships and teamwork. They approach contentious issues by using collaboration, and confront conflict in a positive and constructive manner.
Leaders value creativity and innovation and foster a work environment that encourages both. They manage risk responsibly and understand the difference between reasonable and unreasonable risk. They are willing to accept mistakes with the understanding that learning must take place. They are willing to approach well-worn paths with a fresh approach and apply this same trait to those who work for and with them.
And lastly, leaders are able to establish and articulate a preferred future for their units and organizations, set this in the context of established larger organization missions and goals, and communicate this to all by promoting wide ownership and championing the necessary changes to achieve success.