Build and keep your high performing team

 Leaders impact 50%- 70% of an organisation culture which impacts 35% of the organisational performance (Ref: Korn Ferry / Hay group). 
Therefore, it’s very important to build effective and transformational leaders, regardless of the size of the business. For start-ups, leadership, culture and meaningful employee engagement are key to sustaining and growing the business
To build a strong organisation, drive performance and engage your employees :
  1. Set clear purpose, vision and core values. Share the business plan, priorities and roadmap
  2. Expect everyone to live the core values and build them into the performance management system
  3. Place and develop strong leaders
  4. Deploy a robust talent management programme
  5. Build a diverse and inclusive workforce (Your customers are diverse too!)

Employee engagement should focus on things that have tangible impact:

  • Well being
  • Career development/growth opportunities
  • Communication (access to information)
  • Performance management and reward system
  • Collaboration and team relations
  • Leadership quality
  • Recognition and respect
  • Empowerment and involvement
  • Change management

Effective performance management is critical for driving sustained performance

The essence of performance management is to develop people for maximum performance. There are clear benefits for the staff, manager and the company as whole when the measures are aligned to the business goals and core values, and the process is effectively carried out.

For the staff, it provides clarity on directions and empowers them to plan, develop and work towards their best performance. For the manager, it is an invaluable opportunity to develop, engage and motivate the staff. For the company, effective performance management keeps everyone aligned to a common goal and striving towards excellence.

Fundamentally, for Performance Management to be successful, the company needs to have a well-structured performance appraisal framework. It must also adequately equip supervisors with the right mindset, knowledge and skills to drive effective performance appraisal.

Key elements

  1. Aligned work objectives that are SMART with clear key performance indicators/measures.
  2. Both employees and leaders are committed and take ownership to have regular performance conversations and feedback-feedforward on performance improvement
  3. Leaders are competent in facilitating powerful coaching conversations to support learning and help staff move forward.
  4. Reward systems are tied to performance (“what is done”) and behaviour (“How things are done”)

Flexible work arrangements

There have been a lot of exchanges about flexible work arrangements and shorter work hours and the impact on employee productivity, engagement, well-being, business performance, etc. Still, like other progressive practice agenda such as Diversity and Inclusion, the train is moving slowly.

Good news is that, it is generally in the right direction. Answering questions like “What’s stopping us?” could help decision-makers with the needed insights to draw out the roadmap. A few other reflections:

  1. Work transformational changes require ‘change density’ where significant trend of employers of choice doing the same increases the impetus to change
  2. Benefits of the business case is widely publicised and promoted with value to the business and people clearly articulated
  3. Leadership maturity – Leaders are effectively coaching for high performance remotely and driving accountability
  4. Workforce maturity – Employees show personal credibility and self leadership and accountability to deliver results
  5. Parallel enabling organisation changes in how we work, interact, engage and reward performance and behaviour

Women leaders

Is it necessary for women to act like like to succeed in their career? 

It’s easy to slip into thinking so, after all, it’s still a male dominated world of leaders. And there’s also the consequential debate on Authenticity. 

My reflections on women leadership behaviour:

  1. Authenticity is about being your personal best, your Polished vs. Raw form
  2. It’s about the behaviours that are not helping and nor showcasing your personal best rather than a broad success strategy that if women act like men, they will succeed.
  3. Work with a coach starting with 1 – 2 behaviours over a period of at least 6 months. One year is ideal
  4. It helps to be mindful about the perception your behaviour creates and reflect if that perception is aligned with our personal brand and what we want others to perceive

Men too can make a difference:

  1. Catch your unconscious bias and preset perceptions which could colour your judgement
  2. Be mindful of your body language and the signals
  3. Be an advocate and constructive alliance providing useful feedforward

Take care of yourself so you can continue to take care of others

I often hear women say that they don’t have time for ‘this & that’ in relation to their personal needs as they want to take care of the needs of others first. 

Self sacrifice is a paradox – The very reason for doing, or not doing something will negate the intent. To make a difference to others, we must first make a difference to ourselves

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” John F. Kennedy 

For leaders to sustain effective leadership, it is key to stay physically fit to enable resilience, agility and innovation. 

So it is not surprising that many inspiring woman leaders prioritise fitness because it makes a difference.

Building a high performing culture

We all know that high performance doesn’t happen overnight. Even after achieving it, sustaining it is not a given and could at times be a ‘One Hit Wonder’. It requires deliberate efforts, actions and spurring on:

  1. Select 1 -2 development areas to work on
  2. Engage relevant people to get feedback and feedforward
  3. Execute the actions
  4. Celebrate your reward (better results & other consequential perks)
  5. Be spurred on to do even better! Success builds further success!

And working with a coach makes a big difference! Else, why would top sportsperson and leaders have coaches?

Contact info@madiff to learn more about our Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder centered coaching.

How effective a Leader ARE you?

  • Agility – Keep learning – Tap into your intuition
  • Resilience – Practise mindfulness and fitness – Build a support network of allies
  • Executive presence – Be purposeful on how you show up – Communicate with impact

There are many ways to engage your team. For me, it’s about being REAL, in many sense.

Think of REAL as a guiding acronym:

  1. Recognise – Build an recognition culture
  2. Expect learning – Of course, role model it!
  3. Ask – vs. tell
  4. Leverage diversity & inclusion

Leadership lessons from daily living

There’s always something we can learn. Leadership lessons from this no-knead bread that only requires you to fold in the ingredients for 5 mins

  1. Trust the process
  2. Don’t overthink & complicate
  3. Apply the right pressure
  4. Allow time to develop
  5. Watch the heat & duration for optimal results

Authentic Leaders need to have HEART

Authentic Leadership is about responsibility too.

The role of a leader is to enable others and in the context of company, it’s to enable the organisation, business and people. It’s not only ‘About Me’.

So what does it take to be an Authentic Leader? While we need to be true to ourselves, it doesn’t mean showing up in whatever shape and form because we feel entitled to it.

It’s about being true to our purpose and bringing it to life with our team onboard with us. That requires Humility, Courage and Discipline.

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) continues to be one of the top people priorities for progressive companies and critical to enabling business growth, employee engagement and organisational strengths. Despite efforts to drive D&I, the needle hasn’t moved much in the representation of women in leadership and talent bench. 

Supporting women and reaching (and retaining) leaderrship

A complementary 2-pronged approach would have a stronger impact: 

  1. ‘Outside in’ through company-driven D&I initiatives
  2. ‘Inside out’ through women leader-driven willingness and abilities, supported by targeted coaching

It’s also important to note:

  1. D&I is a business strategy and not a fad – It’s in the same league as all other business strategies and not a spare-time hobby. Full commitment needed.
  2. All leaders take full ownership – Not only HR. It’s a performance objectives for All leaders
  3. Provide coaching to your women leaders – Excellent if you have in-house coaching or mentoring programmes. To realise the programme objectives, do make sure your mentors are adequately equipped 

Leveraging relationships

It’s important for women leaders to network and leverage relations. However, many women need to attend to family priorities outside of work hours which might limit their willingness to attend outside work hours events. An alternative is for women to optimise the opportunities during working hours.

Simple deliberate steps such as being slightly early for events/meetings & engaging in quality conversations would make a useful difference. The other important awareness is the effects of appearing busy all the time – it could exclude you from being considered for useful relationship building opportunities.