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In leadership sometimes the old is the new

At the heart of being a great leader is having the behaviour that gets the outcome. The most important quality of leadership is that of being effective and this precedes anything else. Once you are outcome focused as a leader you do what is required to create that outcome.

The whole point of being a leader is to get results.

The thing about results is this– when you look at human behaviour, a behaviour always creates a result. We always get a result. They may not be the best or the intended result.

What is the most important result and how do you get that?

Focusing on the critical result helps in achieving the important result. In the process that impacts other activities.

In doing this discipline and time management become key. You realise the importance of time and you say yes to activities accordingly.

There are many shiny things that often distract leadership. What’s key is the behaviour to get the outcome. Quoting Peter Drucker “any new knowledge without the ability to translate it into meaningful results” – is what shows how valuable behaviour is.

Behaviour is fundamental, its practical and its timeless.

So keeping focused on the main thing a leader can demonstrate meaningful value through the results obtained through the right behaviour. 

Yet through generations leadership shows to be making similar mistakes.

This is an outcome of focusing on the wrong things. We’re too busy focused on the shiny new object instead of what are the necessary behaviours. That occurs because it’s tough to change behaviours because the organization is controlling the behaviour. Couple this with the ingrained habits in terms of how we think and how we act, and we keep falling back on what we used to do. Add to this the organizational forces that force a leader to behave in a certain way just to meet the needs of the organization. 

Changing behaviour involves identifying meaningful outcomes as a team. What’s meaningful to one may not be the same with another. When a consensus on the outcome is there then behavioural change can be affected.

So given the limited amount of time leaders have to pay attention to something outside of trying to get stuff done everyday it helps to focus on one thing and answer what does it mean to be effective for you, as a leader, and for the organization. Identify that and spend your equity, in the form of time, money, energy and attention, on that in converting it into being effective. Once one does that anything you add will be of value.

In this process, another principle of Drucker that comes through, is that a leader is also training and developing other effective leaders. This is not organizationally leading from the top but more of leading through out. 

This is a challenge across industry. If leaders aren’t effective then employees aren’t engaged and the ramifications of that are there. Treating engagement doesn’t work. At the source it’s the leadership that impacts.

About the author, Ross

Behavioural leadership coach committed to bringing more soul into business and reducing a leader's stress in managing their people

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