Digital Garden of Paul

High Impact Leadership

Based on research executed in the 21st century, Christo Nel describes 12 elements of sustainable high performance leadership. These elements apply for each and every level in an organisation, but the focus of the article lies with senior and executive levels. These principles ar often aligned with the Virtues of leadership, also described by Christo Nel.

The 12 elements are:

1. Value-based leadership shift

It is essential to establish a culture of leadership that values and contributes to the upliftment of all stakeholders. It requires value-based leadership which is demonstrated by inclusivity, transparency, engagement, valuing and inviting constructive conflict. Developing the competence of people-driven performance. These value shift can be presented as:

2. Personal authentic leadership

Leaders do not imitate someone else, they live their own authentic leadership and style. As such they understand each individual has its own style. As such they seek to comprehend and contribute their own style and strengths. Requiring personal reflection and receive feedback for personal awareness. It's the basis for continuous personal growth.

3. Valuing and leveraging diversity

Leaders require higher levels of emotional intelligence. They are open to diversity of different perspective and styles. Not being threatened by views and perspectives that are not their own.

4. Discovering and using the power of personal voice

The most essential leadership tool for high-performance leader is the power of their voice and the courage to articulate their views. The skill to engage in robust and essential conversations to energise themselves and others. Promoting a culture of trust.

5. Consciously developing high performance teaming practices

These leaders accept and understand that developing high-performance teams require an extended period of learning. Learning how to make use of each others strength. Creating trust, an environment of deep listening and inquiry skills requires time and support.

6. Creating the high performance organisation culture

The primary task of executives and general managers is to create an organisational culture of high performance. Creating and sustaining the drivers of a high performance culture is as essential as annual budgeting. It requires regular assessment, realignment and enhancement. Much in line with the practice of organisational sensing.

7. Talent creating is an accountability of core executives and managers

The ultimate source of sustainable performance is the capacity to attract, develop and retain talent. Top level executives need to identify and recognise talent. Nurturing them and keeping interest by providing interesting challenging projects and roles. Continuous learning and re-energising of people is a strategic priority. The executive team needs to apply these principles to themselves and their own teams.

8. Creating meaningful work at every level is a priority

High performance leaders have a deep belief that the vast majority of people have a desire to do meaningful work. Executive leadership as such focus on implementing practices that reduce micromanagement. They treat people as trustworthy, countering the views of Scientific Management. Eliot Jacques Stratified Systems Theory is a much adopted approach by executives. The essence of this approach is to deliver broad levels of work to ensure sustainable competitiveness.

9. Exercising the art of strategy execution

Execution of the strategy is key for high performance leaders. They instil necessary expectations, disciplines and commitment at every level of the organisation. Action is more important then motion and these leaders constantly iterate on that.

10. Mastering the challenge of continuous change leadership and innovation

Change is the only constant. High performance leaders are the masters of continuous change leadership. They identify, suggest and drive change at every level and part of the organisation. Executives master the art of identifying and exercising the necessary influence to initiate innovation and the requisite change leadership wherever it is required.

11. Seeing and managing the organisation as a living and organic system

The system resembles a vibrant and living system. The organisation, to their belief, is a multi dimensional web of leadership and interdependencies. They accept it is their role to influence and optimise the alignment across all of these sometimes competing and even conflicting participants and contributors to their organisational webs.

12. Creating an optimum of inclusivity and collaboration

They accept they cannot control their environment. They are part of a constantly shifting system of interests and conditions. As such they take the responsibility for initiating collaboration that is inclusive to fully engage and satisfy the interests of all stakeholders.

High Impact Leadership