The continuous push for high performance cultures, leaders and people is of course without doubt the secret to success in today’s complex business arena, where profitability, sustainability and growth are a critical outcome to a high-performance culture. In reality a high-performance culture needs to be infinite in its true form.
Do you see short burst of success or trajectory creating continuous performance lift?
How often do we see a short burst of performance which we herald as a performance lift and then next month we are back at square one, the mouse on the wheel going nowhere at great speed? We see our people feeling exhausted, leaders on the edge and organisations running on empty. Simon Sinek speaks about the finite and the infinite organisation, the finite organisation constantly running toward moving goals, competing against other organisations and benchmarking failure and success as the finite goal.
Then we see the infinite organisation that completes against its own benchmarks, working tirelessly to fulfill its purpose, consistently reaching for more to achieve outcomes for the people and customers they serve. We know that trajectory allows for continued growth, capacity, creativity, innovation, fun, success and of course growth. I know it’s easier said than done. Creating continuous lift is based on momentum that crashes through drama and drives focus, passion and purpose.
So, the questions seem to be:
#1. How do we work in a way that creates an infinite game plan for our organisation and people?
#2. How do we get our leaders to lead the charge, create hope, ignite purpose and build solid momentum in our people and performance?
#3. How do we get our people “on board” so they can feel successful and own their continued growth?
Let’s start with the infinite game plan:
I want to play the “infinite game” don’t you? My children often comment they don’t think I will retire when I am older because the work we do changes so many lives and I love every single day. Our practice is not in a race with other organisations, we are in a continued push to live our purpose, filling leaders with hope and helping people lead themselves and positively influence those around them.
Leaders, how often do we see our people not buy into our purpose? How often do we as leaders not know how to build an inspiring narrative around the infinite game? We know that hope is a critical component to ensure we have and see a future. In some of our coaching and leader sessions we have reviewed this topic and it’s amazing when leaders come to the conclusion that they are in a game of creating customer solutions and experiences that will create a wave of purpose and passion and thereby carry the organisation toward the infinite game. Momentum…. I love that word. Consider the diffusion of Innovation cure? It’s when we get our organisation to the point where we are doing business with the majority because they get it! We have created enough ground swell, not only what we do (that becomes a commodity) we have created a tribe of people who believe what we believe and see their success in working with us.
• Know your purpose that will drive momentum for your people
• Build a narrative, a clear narrative on the value you create
• Know and live the mission – own it!
• Don’t measure your success with that of the competitor, know what they are doing but compete with your own ability to deliver your purpose and create success for your people and your customers
• Build the tribe, build the wave
• Don’t be afraid to evolve it’s a must!
• Dare greatly and be willing to fail fast and rise to try again
Lead the charge, create hope, ignite purpose, build momentum for people and performance
Leaders your greatest impact in leading change and high performance is to learn how to set expectations and lead and influence your people to own these (expectations) and the joint success of the organisation.
I remember having a long conversation with a senior leader a while ago, we were discussing the circles of control in change and in charge to momentum and results. I asked a simple question, what can you control… without thinking this leader said “my people”. They were honest in their thinking that they could tell their people what to do and their people needed to ‘do it’ or lose their job. They were not far off the mark around expectations yet this leader forgot that the only thing in reality they could control was themselves. The only way they were going to get their people connected, aligned and primed for high performance was through influence and courage.
I think we need to realise that when we feel the need to control our people we might be in for a great shock. Our people in today’s world have the great gift of choice. If we feel we are in control of our people they will work with just enough energy to deliver a just good enough return or in some cases no return at all. So what’s the key? No expectations?
The keys to success could be summed up as:
Your future: Communicate where we are going and why it will be important (Remember to articulate the people we serve and the impact we have beyond just our own success)
Purpose and meaning: Help your people see how they can contribute to the success of the organisation, their team and ultimately the clients you serve, help them connect their purpose with yours.
Set boundaries: Expectations and measures of success are critical. Your people need to know what you want from them, by when and how it can be measured. Consequence is a outcomes to the choice of not aligning to expectations and not meeting measures of success. It’s our duty as leaders to have courage to face these moments. Success has to be a joint effort because coaching and mentoring to support these expectations is key.
Trust: Create trust in the team and with your people so they can connect with you in open dialogue on how they are progressing and allow you to coach and stretch them
Fail fast: Failing is without doubt part of the road to high performance, in an environment where your team can try and if they fail can get up and try again is critical. Make sure you are across how they feel and watch their connection to you and your team
Challenge Ego: Ego that is out of control causes drama and misalignment. Challenging ego and holding people to account for crossing the boundaries is critical to team success.
Celebrate wins: Always celebrate the wins because it’s part of the joy we create along the way
Own your failures as a leader: You are not a mistake yet in your journey to high performance you can make mistakes, don’t hide these, own them and learn from them. This will create trust in you as a leader and help you grow to drive momentum and success.
Get your people on board
This part isn’t easy, as getting people on board is getting them to choose to be on board. In some of our work I have seen leaders wrestle with getting people to “drink the cool-aid” or choose to opt in. You need people to be on board or to be part of your team. If your people don’t want to be “on board” own the remit and be part of the team it might be better if they were not part of the organisation. These people will create road-blocks to growth and will be poor team players. Help them decide what they would like to do, share your vision of a future state and be really clear on how you believe the team should go on the journey with you. Three things leaders need to consider:
• They will only get on the boat if they feel connected with you
• Your vision and the HOW needs to be clear
• Each person needs to see how they can use their talents to be successful
Momentum is the only way to move into high performance and create continuous trajectory. Get focused as an infinite organisation that is clear on competing with your own results, exceeding your customers’ expectations and aligning your team. Own your leadership role in making it real, connect with you people. We have seen lift in momentum in organisations and know it’s possible, we also know that burn out can be reduced when your people love what they do and love why they do it!