Authentic Leaders drive business results by building teams that collaborate, motivate and elevate the performance of those around them. This type of leadership actually INSPIRES a culture of performance through the management of results rather than people, time or tasks. There’s a huge difference between activity and impact and organizations led by Authentic Leaders instill an impact-focused culture with four key traits:
Business performance requires employees to take risks, overcome failures quickly and pivot successfully. Most cultures inhibit performance by punishing failure and squashing the power of perseverance. Authentic Leaders, however, naturally grasp the power of perseverance and ignite teams to overcome challenges by modeling a “whatever it takes” attitude. When the power of perseverance is unleashed, performance increases and obstacles are easily overcome.
Passion is obviously important; however, high-performance cultures ignite a collective passion for winning that galvanizes teams and unleashes a willingness to consistently give extra effort for the sheer joy of winning. The Authentic Leader makes winning the collective goal, rather than focusing on individual passion. By taking the focus off of individual passion and replacing it with a collective focus on winning, blame and infighting fall by the wayside as the team collaborates to win as a unit.
It’s no secret that preparation is important to performance; however, Authentic Leaders are able to leverage individual skills to create a collective need to excel. Getting the entire team to want to do “everything possible” to win means that the group’s standard will be raised consistently. Preparation, therefore, becomes a way of being within the entire team, rather than an individual standard. This creates a performance momentum where the status quo is never enough and the bar is raised through a sincere and authentic desire to perform better repeatedly.
Finally, Authentic Leaders have an innate ability to shift perceptive to what IS working, rather than what isn’t. This is the most critical aspect of maximizing performance, as teams who stop to focus on mistakes, issues or challenges fall into a blame mindset that stifles the ability to perform. Authentic Leaders don’t need to blame, but rather look for the good, assume positive intent and find a way to victory. They maintain their team’s focus on THE GOAL rather than the challenges or critiquing what someone else did wrong. They shut down complaining, minimize unnecessary criticism and root out victim mindset ruthlessly.
Perspective is one of the most difficult things to control inside organizations, and yet it is paramount to creating a performance culture and precisely why Authentic Leaders are so valuable. When blame is allowed to flourish on any scale, it erodes the team’s willingness to find a way, because failure is now an option when there is someone to blame. Success is a choice, ONLY when failure is not an option. Authentic Leaders take failure off the table by shifting perspectives toward the goal rather than the obstacles.
Business results are always preceded by a performance culture. Authentic Leaders naturally inspire a culture of performance by modeling and instilling four cultural traits:
Perseverance, Passion (for winning), Preparation and Perspective. The question then is, how do you create more Authentic Leaders in your organization? We will cover that next month.