I want to win. This is what most leaders say when asked about performance goals. The reality is that goals are future-based. Great leaders recognize that achieving results is a process that is focused on what you can do in the present. Leaders should ask the question, “What do I need to do today to achieve my goal?”
Great leaders do six things to drive performance and win. These are activities and expected behaviors focused on the present that will lead to exceeding goals and expectations.
First, they are people-focused. They recognize that the people are the core of the business. The results they are seeking can only be achieved through the people. People will work harder for you if they know you care about and respect them!
Second, leaders define what performance and winning looks like. They identify the actions that must be taken. They identify the skills and behaviors required to execute those actions. They ask “What can you do today to accelerate performance?
Third, they set clear expectations. They have thought about not only what it will take to exceed goals but also what must be done daily to achieve the result. They communicate these expectations consistently and frequently, especially during weekly coaching conversations.
Fourth, leaders coach for performance. They understand how each team member wants to be coached. They recognize and reward activities and behaviors that lead to the desired outcome. They provide feedback and counseling when those behaviors and actions are absent. A performance management system is in place to ensure employees can and do perform the necessary actions and behaviors. They ask questions such as “What are you doing well and why is it working?” or “What can you do better and how will you do it?”
Fifth, great leaders focus on inspiring and mobilizing their teams. They help develop the competencies of the team members while recognizing that the employee owns her personal development. They use every touch point with an employee to inspire and mobilize each individual on their team to exceed expectations.
Finally they consistently hold their people accountable. They reinforce the behaviors and actions that are expected of employees. They also expect their employees to return and report. This is a principle that puts the responsibility on the employee to follow up with the leader to report on action actions they have committed to complete. When employees do not return and report, leaders follow up to ensure the expected actions are executed.
At the core of performance-driven leadership is a company-wide culture of coaching and performance. Winning is not a destination. It is a process focused on the specific behaviors, competencies and actions required to meet and exceed expectations.
If you are interested in learning more about being a performance-driven leader, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.