Articles About highperformance

In the fast-paced world we live in, achieving personal and professional success requires careful planning and strategic thinking. A well-organized planner is an indispensable tool for individuals seeking to navigate the complexities of their lives and reach their goals. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to effectively use the free HPL 2024 Goal Planner that incorporates key elements such as SWOT analysis, SMART goals, brainstorming functions, short-term goals (1-2 years), and long-term goals (3-5 years), along with a goal breakdown to ensure a systematic approach to success!

 

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Why Goals, Instead of New Year's Resolutions?

There are many statistics out there with some studies indicating that up to 80% of New Year's resolutions fail.  Why?  Our view is they are usually just statements made without any real plan to achieve, lack support mechanisms, or don't have new habit-formation actions.  It's easy when you are sitting on the couch stuffed with good food and amply plied with booze to say "I'm going to be healthier next year!", but what steps do you take to make that happen? How do you know when you have achieved that goal? what motivates you to work towards that goal? For these reasons, We believe that Goals and Objectives eat New Year's resolutions for breakfast, every time!

 

Click to Download FREE Planner

 

Understanding Your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT Analysis)

 

The first step in crafting a successful plan is to conduct a thorough SWOT analysis. This strategic planning tool involves assessing your internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. SWOT analysis is generally a tool used by organizations to set goals and bring teams together on issues. While it is a great tool to use in a professional environment, many may not consider it for personal goals as well. By understanding these factors, you can create a foundation for setting realistic and achievable goals.

 

Strengths: Identify your unique skills, attributes, and resources that give you a competitive advantage. What are you good at? Where do you succeed easily?

 

Weaknesses: Acknowledge areas where you may need improvement or additional support. Areas of strain or stress. This is not to beat yourself up about; this is a logical reflection of where you need to see improvements or change. Example: "I am always busy being busy", "My Supervisor has mentioned I need to improve my communication on the status of my projects".


Opportunities: Explore external factors and trends that you can leverage to your advantage. Training and development opportunities, as well as continuing education, networking, taking on special projects at work, or as simple as attending some webinars.


Threats: Recognize potential obstacles or challenges that may hinder your progress. These threats aren't necessarily bad things, but to remove these threats, you need to know what you're dealing with and make informed decisions. Example: "I would like to work in a specific country, but there are current political instability concerns," or "I would like to get certified in this area, but I'm not sure how AI will impact this area of expertise."

 

Utilizing Brainstorming

Next, you need to start brainstorming. What is your dream life? Where do you want to be, and what do you want to be doing in the next few years?

 Dreams don't need to be earth-shattering, but these dreams also don't need to be limited. This section is not for judgment or for you to ask "how"; this is a safe place to dream up the life you want!

 

 

  • Explore new possibilities: Allow your mind to wander freely and jot down any ideas that come to you.
  • Are there new habits or personal changes you want to see?
  • Plan for the future: Generate ideas for future projects, collaborations, or personal development opportunities. Where do you see yourself in a year, 3 years, 5 years?!

 

Setting SMART Goals

Now, place your SWOT analysis next to your brainstorming sheet. Compare the two pages and decide if they work together, against, or are completely different. Do you have new goals you want to add to your dream board based on your SWOT analysis? Do your dreams seem unachievable next to your SWOT? If so, don't panic! Begin to look for ways to break down these dreams into SMART Goals.

 

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. They provide a structured framework to guide your efforts and ensure your objectives are well-defined and attainable. This makes goals like "I want to be healthier" impossible. Goals like this are very common, but they are unachievable because they are much too vague. Try framing your goals as smart goals.

 

  • Specific: Clearly define what you want to achieve, avoiding vague or ambiguous language. Example: I will lose 5 lbs off my current weight through daily activity and exercise.

 

  • Measurable: Establish criteria to track your progress and determine when the goal has been accomplished. Example: To lose 5lbs I will go for a walk daily and a spin class twice a week. I will also switch my daily MacDonald's lunch to a salad. All of these things are measurable and can easily be tracked.

 

  • Achievable: Set realistic goals that stretch your abilities but are within the realm of possibility. Example: Can I afford to take Spin classes? Where will I get my new daily salad that is closer or the same distance as MacDonald's? Where will I go for my daily walk?

 

  • Relevant: Ensure that your goals align with your values, vision, and long-term objectives. Example: Is this goal important to me? Do I really need to lose 5 lbs, or is that what everyone around me is doing?

 

  • Time-bound: Set a deadline for each goal to create a sense of urgency and maintain focus. Example: When will I have lost 5lbs? What time of day is my daily walk? What days are my spin classes?

 

Crafting Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

Now that you have your SMART goals laid out, you can see how large a goal they are and if they may require further breakdown. For example, a long-term goal might be getting a master's degree, while a short-term goal will be achieving an 85% in your current classes. The short-term goals add up to or contribute towards the long-term goal over time.

 

Differentiating between short-term and long-term goals is crucial for effective planning. Short-term goals provide stepping stones toward your larger, long-term objectives. Consider the following when crafting these goals:

 

Short-Term Goals: Focus on achieving objectives within the next 1-2 years, breaking down larger aspirations into manageable tasks. You can break these goals down even further into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and even daily.


Long-Term Goals: Envision where you want to be in 3-5 years, providing a roadmap for sustained success and personal growth. Break these down into yearly (long term), quarterly (short term), monthly, weekly, and daily.

 

Goal Breakdown

 

A goal breakdown is a detailed analysis of each goal, helping you understand the "why," "how," "when," and the actionable steps required to achieve success. While many of these steps have already been discussed in the SMART goals section, these pages are very helpful in making your plan actionable and organized all in one place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click to Download FREE Planner

 

  • Why: Clearly define the purpose and significance of each goal, aligning them with your values and long-term vision. Why is this goal important to you? What is the motivation behind it?
  • How: Outline the strategies and approaches you will employ to accomplish your goals. Create bite-size daily or weekly actions that take you a step closer to your goal consistently. This is a great time to review your Prioritized Leader Actions and incorporate your goals into your daily and weekly routines.
  • When: Set specific deadlines and milestones for each goal, creating a sense of urgency and accountability. How do you plan on staying accountable? Is it a person, a checkbox, or an app notification? Block time in your calendar or schedule events/meetings with yourself to work on these goals.

Don't forget to add in rewards for yourself at milestones or look for ways to stay motivated and encouraging! Celebrate consistency and small wins. Looking back at your original SWOT analysis, are there any threats to your goals? How can you overcome them? Look for more ways to break it down and problem-solve. Just remember that you can plan and break things down as much as you want, but to achieve your goals requires action. Don't analyze your goals to death, and fail to start out on the first step. New beginnings take place every day, not just on January 1st.

 

Summary

By incorporating SWOT analysis, SMART goals, brainstorming, short-term and long-term goal planning, and a detailed goal breakdown into your planner, you empower yourself with a comprehensive roadmap for success. Regularly revisit and update your plan to adapt to changing circumstances and ensure continued progress toward your aspirations. Remember, the ultimate planner is not just a tool; it's your personal guide to mastering success in every aspect of your life!

 

Click to Download FREE Planner

 

Another way to help keep you on track with your goals is to put them somewhere visible, like at your desk or in your kitchen. Somewhere, you can see them and be reminded daily of what you are working towards. This is not meant to be a bat for when your plans/goals go off the rails; it is a motivator and a reminder to continue pushing forward.

 

It's also important to track your progress. If you have daily action items, make sure you have a way to measure your progress. Check out our other post on Prioritized Leader Actions on how this works!

 

Let us know if you have any questions or if you have a way to plan your goals more effectively. If all of this seems overwhelming, please feel free to book a coaching session, and we will help you every step of the way to achieve your 2024 goals!

 

 

Other Relevant Articles:

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Goals and Objectives Eat New Year's Resolutions For Breakfast, Every Time!

Leader Standard Work & Hitting Targets

Want To Get Organized in 2020? Free Personal Planner & Leader Standardized Work Templates

 

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The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and family gatherings. However, for leaders in leadership roles at Amazon, the busiest time of the work year can make balancing professional responsibilities with personal commitments a daunting task. I was the director of Amazon Canada operations for six years, meaning the holidays brought many complications.

 

While Santa works steadily to meet his commitments all year round, at Amazon, we experienced a massive influx in orders between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. All of these gifts had to get to their homes before the big day! Who would get them there? I can tell you it was through blood, sweat and tears that the entire Amazon team did! There are many incredible stories of the dedication and length to which Amazon associates would go to deliver packages on time. Stories like these highlight the amount of dedication and team mindset that was encouraged by Amazon associates. It’s a fantastic example of a company's mission being fully understood and carried out by its employees.  

 

While these stories are inspirational, they are by no means the norm. Something very important in the Amazon culture is that you must meet your delivery commitments at all costs. At the end of the day, the customer must always come first (second only to associate safety!). In my leadership position, It was my job to be as proactive as possible to get through Peak as smoothly as possible. This was a huge feat, but there were many other obligations and commitments to be met! You name it: Christmas parties, family gatherings, dance recitals, choir concerts, hockey games! It seems someone looked at December and tried to fill every single second full of holiday commitments that, if missed, make you look like a bad parent/spouse and a Scrooge!  

 

All this being said, I am still in my holiday recovery period, even though I have been away from Amazon for 4 holiday seasons. While this time was unbelievably stressful, it taught me many valuable lessons in leadership and balancing work and personal life. Today, I hear many people complaining about the season and how stressed out, burnt out, and overworked they are. I hope to pass on some of my learning to you, and these tips will help make your holiday season easier and brighter! 

 

Plan and Prioritize:

Effective planning and prioritization serve as the cornerstone for navigating the chaos of the holiday season. Beyond merely acknowledging the busyness of the period, it involves creating a meticulously detailed schedule that encompasses work commitments and personal events. This proactive approach allows leaders to gain a comprehensive overview of their responsibilities, making allocating time and resources more easily.

 

In the realm of prioritization, leaders must discern between tasks based on urgency and importance. Critical work responsibilities should take precedence, ensuring that essential obligations are met without compromising quality. Simultaneously, recognizing the significance of personal engagements, leaders can strike a balance that accommodates both professional and personal spheres. This delicate equilibrium requires a keen understanding of the broader context, allowing for a nuanced approach to task management.

 

By adopting a strategic mindset in planning and prioritization, leaders set the stage for a more organized and efficient holiday season, minimizing stress and maximizing productivity.

 

Delegate Effectively:

Leadership during the holiday rush entails recognizing the power of effective delegation. It goes beyond distributing tasks to alleviate personal burdens; it involves entrusting team members with specific responsibilities that contribute to their professional growth. Delegation becomes an opportunity for team members to take ownership and make decisions, fostering a sense of empowerment and accountability.

 

Leaders must have confidence in their team's capabilities to delegate effectively and provide clear guidelines. Doing so creates an environment where individuals feel valued and trusted, motivating them to perform at their best. Delegation, when approached as a developmental tool, not only lightens the leader's load but also cultivates a team adept at handling challenges collaboratively.

 

In essence, effective delegation elevates the entire team, transforming tasks into opportunities for skill development and collective success.

 

Communicate Clearly:

Clear and transparent communication forms the bedrock of successful leadership, especially amid the hectic holiday season. Leaders must articulate their team's expectations, deadlines, and priorities, ensuring a shared understanding of collective goals. This open communication fosters a sense of unity and clarity, preventing misunderstandings that can arise during busy times.  Moreover, proactive communication extends beyond the professional realm. Leaders should transparently inform their partners and families about work commitments and manage expectations to avoid disappointments and surprises. This approach allows leaders to balance professional responsibilities and personal relationships, fostering understanding and support from those closest to them.

 

By prioritizing clear communication, leaders create a cohesive and informed team, enhancing efficiency and reducing unnecessary stress.

 

Embrace Flexibility:

The holiday season, notorious for its unpredictability, demands leaders to embrace flexibility and adaptability. Unforeseen challenges may arise, requiring leaders to adjust schedules, reassign tasks, and accommodate unexpected circumstances. A flexible approach demonstrates resilience, showcasing a leader's ability to navigate turbulent times while maintaining a positive work culture.

Flexibility doesn't imply a lack of structure but rather an openness to reassess and recalibrate plans. Leaders who can pivot gracefully in response to challenges inspire confidence and foster a culture of adaptability within their teams. This approach ensures that, despite the uncertainties of the season, the team remains agile and responsive to evolving demands.

 

Encourage Well-being:

A healthy and motivated team is a linchpin for success during the holiday season. Leaders play a pivotal role in encouraging their teams to prioritize well-being. This involves promoting breaks, sufficient rest, and self-care practices contribute to overall mental and physical health.

 

Leading by example, leaders showcase the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. By fostering an environment that values well-being, leaders contribute to a positive workplace culture where team members feel supported and appreciated. A team that prioritizes well-being is more resilient in the face of challenges and is likely to perform at its best, even under high-pressure situations.

 

Foster a Positive Work Environment:

Despite the stress of the holiday season, fostering a positive work environment becomes a strategic imperative for leaders. Acknowledging hard work, expressing gratitude, and celebrating big and small achievements contribute to a positive workplace culture. Initiatives like the "Associate Shout-out" at Amazon create a platform for team members to recognize and appreciate each other, fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect.

 

In addition to recognition, organizing team-building activities or small festive events can significantly boost morale. These initiatives provide moments of respite and contribute to a sense of shared purpose and enjoyment during a demanding season.

 

By actively fostering positivity, leaders contribute to a workplace where team members feel valued and motivated, enhancing overall team performance.

 

Set Realistic Expectations:

Setting realistic expectations is an essential leadership skill, particularly during the holiday season. Leaders must understand the limitations of time and resources and communicate what can be realistically achieved. Managing expectations within the team and with external stakeholders helps alleviate unnecessary stress and creates a more focused and productive work environment.

 

Realistic expectations also involve acknowledging the potential challenges and limitations of the season. By doing so, leaders can strategize effectively, making informed decisions about task prioritization and resource allocation. Transparent communication about these expectations ensures that everyone is on the same page, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and fostering a culture of accountability.

 

Utilize Technology Wisely:

In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, leveraging technology is not just advantageous; it's imperative. Leaders should utilize technology to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and facilitate communication. Embracing innovative solutions that automate repetitive tasks frees up time for leaders and their teams to focus on strategic priorities and enjoy the holiday season.

 

Technological tools can range from project management software that enhances collaboration to automation tools that streamline routine tasks. By staying abreast of technological advancements, leaders ensure that their teams are equipped with the tools necessary to navigate the complexities of the holiday season effectively.

 

Establish Boundaries:

As leaders navigate the demands of the holiday season, it's crucial to establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. Setting specific times for work-related tasks and consciously disconnecting during personal moments contribute to a healthier work-life balance.

 

Establishing boundaries is beneficial for personal well-being and essential for sustained leadership success. It prevents burnout, maintains a leader's focus, and allows for dedicated time with family and friends. Leaders who can delineate between work and personal life effectively set an example for their teams, fostering a culture that values professional excellence and personal fulfillment.

 

Reflect and Learn:

Post-holiday season, leaders should take the opportunity to reflect on the experience. Evaluating what worked well and identifying areas for improvement contribute to continuous growth and refinement in leadership approaches. Gathering feedback from the team provides valuable insights into their experiences and perceptions, enabling leaders to make informed adjustments for future busy periods.

 

Reflection involves a thoughtful analysis of challenges faced, successes achieved, and lessons learned. This process of introspection contributes to a leader's ongoing development, enhancing their ability to navigate complexities and lead their teams effectively. Learning from both positive and challenging experiences ensures that leaders are better equipped to face similar situations in the future.

 

Leading a team during the holiday season presents unique challenges, but with effective planning, clear communication, and a focus on well-being, it is possible to navigate this busy time successfully. By embracing a leadership style that combines strategic thinking with empathy, leaders can create a positive work environment that fosters professional success and personal fulfillment during the festive season. As we move forward, let these leadership tips guide you in ensuring a harmonious and joyful holiday season for yourself and your team. 

 

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In the fast-paced business world, leadership has transformed from mere management to visionary guidance. Effective leadership isn't just about steering the ship; it's about inspiring and leading teams towards excellence. Leadership, the timeless cornerstone of progress, has witnessed a seismic shift over the past five years. The evolving landscape of business, technology, and society has ushered in a leadership crisis that demands a radical rethink of traditional models. 

 

Global uncertainties, from geopolitical tensions to economic upheavals, have constantly placed leaders in flux. The COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, acted as a crucible, testing leaders' coping abilities as they navigated uncharted waters. Remote work, health concerns, and rapid market fluctuations challenged leaders to demonstrate genuine adaptability, empathy, and resilience like never before. 

 

Additionally, a flurry of baby boomer retirements, which will continue to increase over the next few years, presented an additional problem. 

Many organizations are reporting that they are experiencing a leadership crisis.  Younger leaders are accelerating through the levels of leadership with

less experience and less opportunity for growth or mentorship than their predecessors.  Many of these leaders find themselves in direr sink or

 swim situations, unprepared with the skills and tools they need to navigate this ever-changing business landscape.  

 

Personal development and leadership development have never been as important as it is today. To achieve excellence and stand out during this leadership crisis, here are a few ways to break down the essence of what it means to be a high performing leader and create a curated roadmap to leadership development. 

 

 

Understanding the Essence of High-Performance Leadership 

 

Leadership emerges as the driving force in the DNA of a successful organization.  Leaders are not just decision-makers but architects of the workplace culture, shaping employee morale, engagement, and productivity. Establishing a high performance workplace culture isn't a trivial task—it's a deliberate endeavour that hinges on strategic leadership development. By aligning with essential development goals, leaders can unlock their potential to create a conducive environment where teams flourish, setting the team on the path to high performance culture

 

Being a high performance leader involves embodying a set of qualities and behaviours that inspire exceptional results, which in turn fosters a high performance culture. Such leaders are visionaries who provide a clear direction and motivate their teams toward common goals. They possess strategic thinking abilities, making informed decisions and adapting strategies to changing circumstances. Effective communication is a cornerstone of their leadership style, fostering open dialogue and active listening. 

 

High performance leaders empower their teams by delegating responsibilities, fostering autonomy, and valuing diverse perspectives. They demonstrate adaptability and resilience, turning challenges into growth opportunities. Inclusivity is paramount to their approach, recognizing and appreciating each team member's contributions. Collaboration is central to how they lead; they seek input, encourage innovation, and work alongside their teams to achieve results. 

 

These leaders prioritize results, setting high standards while providing support and resources. Continuous learning drives their personal growth, enabling them to stay updated and integrate new knowledge. Empathy and integrity define their interactions, as they understand team members' needs and lead by example with honesty and transparency. High performance leaders create a culture of excellence, adaptability, and innovation, steering their teams and organizations toward enduring success. 

 

 

Development Goals: The Path to High-Performance Leadership 

 

During a leadership development journey, breaking down goals into fundamental properties is akin to constructing a strong foundation for a towering structure. This entails deliberate introspection, self-awareness, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By dissecting leadership goals into smaller, achievable components, you pave the way for focused growth and measurable progress. 

 

At the heart of this process lies self-reflection—a vital tool for understanding strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations. Take time to assess current leadership skills, areas for improvement, and the direction you envision for growth. This introspective practice informs your goal-setting and fosters a deeper understanding of the kind of leader you aim to become. 

 

Embracing mentorship opportunities is an important strategy for accelerated development. The mentor-mentee dynamic offers a wealth of insights and guidance. As a mentee, you can tap into the knowledge and experiences of seasoned leaders, gleaning wisdom that might take years to acquire independently. On the flip side, becoming a mentor reinforces your leadership insights and nurtures your ability to guide and inspire others. 

 

The significance of leadership development goals cannot be overstated. Just as a compass points a ship in the right direction, these goals provide a roadmap for your growth as a leader. They crystallize your ambitions, set clear benchmarks, and help track progress. You nurture holistic development by focusing on personal growth goals alongside leadership objectives. Personal growth encompasses qualities like emotional intelligence, adaptability, and resilience—traits that fortify your leadership capabilities. 

 

​At HPL, high performance leadership development is what we do and what we pride ourselves on. The following are 4 aspects that are vital to any leader who is ready to start their journey to becoming a high performing leader

 

 

 

1. Visionary Leadership: Casting the Future 

Visionary leadership transcends mere goal-setting; it's about crafting a compelling vision that harmonizes with the company's culture. A leader's ability to articulate a clear and inspiring vision offers teams a purpose beyond tasks. This vision becomes a guiding light, channeling collective efforts toward a shared aspiration. High performance leaders share this vision and ignite a sense of ownership among employees, fostering motivation and dedication. 

 

2. Effective Communication: The Foundation of Trust 

Effective leadership begins with open communication. Transparency in communication nurtures trust, aligns expectations, and minimizes ambiguity. When leaders actively listen to their team members and cultivate an atmosphere that values diverse viewpoints, they lay the groundwork for collaboration and innovation. Leaders who communicate with clarity and empathy build rapport and encourage teams to thrive. 

 

3. Building High-Performance Teams: A Collaborative Endeavor 

Behind a high-performance workplace culture stand high-performance teams. Effective leaders identify their teams' strengths and weaknesses, optimizing resource allocation. Nurturing talent involves recognizing individual potential, offering avenues for growth, and fostering collaboration where team members complement one another. Leaders who prioritize team empowerment and value their contributions cultivate an environment where excellence naturally flourishes. 

 

4. Adaptability and Resilience: Thriving Amidst Change 

Change is constant, and high performance leaders are prepared to embrace it. The ability to adapt in the face of change demonstrates agility and forward-thinking. Adaptable leaders view challenges as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles. Equally vital is resilience—a trait that allows leaders to rebound from failures. By demonstrating resilience, leaders set an example for their teams, motivating them to persist in the face of adversity. 

 

 

Incorporating High-Performance Leadership Development 

 

The journey toward high-performance leadership is perpetual, requiring commitment, introspection, and a hunger for growth. High performance leadership goes beyond daily tasks; it shapes an organization's destiny and the trajectory of its members. Leaders create a workplace culture where excellence becomes second nature by embracing visionary leadership, fostering effective communication, nurturing team development, adapting to change, and showcasing resilience. 

 

In an era characterized by volatility and competitiveness, high performance leadership is no longer a luxury—it's a prerequisite for success. Organizations prioritizing leadership development gain an edge, demonstrating adaptability, innovation, and an unswerving pursuit of goals. Aspiring leaders must understand that their developmental voyage catalyzes organizational triumph. By nurturing these crucial skills, they unlock their true potential, propelling their teams toward remarkable achievements. 

 

Likewise, individual leaders who take it upon themselves to invest in their own leadership development will see their careers take incredible leaps. In a competitive hiring market, it's important to find ways to stand out and demonstrate high performance leadership skills and attributes. By investing in leadership and personal development, leaders take the opportunity to stand out, fostering a community of high performance leadership within their team and organization. That’s part of the beauty of a high performance leader; their unique leadership style and high performance skills positively affect those around them within their team and even across their organization. One small step for a leader can have an impressive ripple effect across organizations leading to new heights of leadership excellence. 

 

 

Unlocking Potential with High Performance Leaders' (HPL) Programs 

 

Organizations and leaders can leverage HPLs' leadership development programs to fully realize the concepts discussed here. These comprehensive programs are meticulously designed to hone visionary leadership, effective communication, team development, adaptability, and resilience skills. With a proven track record of transforming leaders into catalysts of excellence, HPL programs offer a blend of just enough concept knowledge to understand their importance and how they work and heavy on hands-on practice and real-world application, empowering participants to effectively navigate today's leadership challenges. 

 

The programs are specifically designed and tailored to leaders at all levels in any organization, ensuring that there is always the right program available for every leader.  

 

 

Advanced Leadership Transformation: For High potentials, Experienced and Senior Leaders 

 

In our Advanced Leadership Transformation Program, we go beyond the basics, delving deep into the intricacies of leadership, honing your abilities, and empowering you to make a lasting impact. Whether you're an experienced executive aiming to enhance your leadership prowess or an aspiring manager seeking to accelerate your growth, this program is tailor-made to elevate your career trajectory and allow you to lead at scale. 

 

What sets our program apart is our unwavering commitment to fostering transformational leadership. Our facilitators are industry experts, leadership coaches, and accomplished mentors who will guide leaders through a comprehensive curriculum encompassing cutting-edge theories, real-world case studies, and hands-on exercises. Gain invaluable insights into effective leadership through immersive workshops, interactive discussions, and practical applications. 

Our program covers various essential leadership competencies, from organizational culture to cultivating high-performing teams and implementing organizational change. Develop a profound understanding of leadership styles, learn to adapt to diverse situations and expand emotional intelligence to inspire and motivate others.

 

Moreover, our program is designed to create a strong network of like-minded leaders, facilitating meaningful connections and opportunities for collaboration. Being surrounded by a diverse community of professionals from various industries and backgrounds allows for cross-pollination of ideas and a broader perspective on leadership challenges. 

 

 

Lead From the Middle: For Mid-level Managers, Project Managers,  High Potential Leaders 

 

Are you in a middle management role, eager to elevate your leadership skills and significantly impact your organization? Look no further than our transformative program, Lead from the Middle. Designed specifically for leaders like you, this program empowers you to unlock your full leadership potential and drive meaningful change. 

 

In today's dynamic business environment, leading from the middle requires unique skills and abilities. Our Lead from the Middle program equips you with the essential tools, knowledge, and strategies to navigate the complexities of your role and become a catalyst for success. 

 

Through immersive workshops, insightful discussions, and practical exercises, our program provides a comprehensive learning experience tailored to your challenges and opportunities as a middle manager. Led by industry experts and seasoned leadership coaches, you'll gain invaluable insights into the key principles of effective middle management. 

 

From mastering talent development, effective communication and building influential relationships to driving collaboration and managing change, our program covers many critical leadership competencies. You'll develop the skills to motivate and inspire your team, foster engagement, and confidently navigate cross-functionally through and around organizational complexities.   

 

One of the key features of our program is its emphasis on practical application. We provide you with actionable strategies and tools to implement immediately in your daily work, enabling you to drive impactful change and achieve tangible results. You'll receive personalized guidance and support, helping you overcome common challenges and seize opportunities for growth. 

 

Our Lead from the Middle program also fosters a vibrant community of leaders with similar experiences and aspirations. Connect with diverse peers, exchange ideas, and learn from each other's successes and challenges. Expand your professional network and gain valuable insights to enhance your leadership journey. 

 

 

Front Line Leaders: For Leaders Who Understand the Hard Work of Leading from the Front Line 

 

Are you a front-line leader looking to enhance your leadership skills and make a lasting impact on your team? Look no further than our transformative Front-Line Leadership Program, designed specifically for aspiring and current supervisors, team leads, and managers who drive organizational success. 

 

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, front-line leaders are crucial in translating strategy into action and inspiring their teams to achieve exceptional results. Our program is carefully crafted to equip you with the essential tools, knowledge, and mindset needed to excel in this dynamic and challenging role. 

 

Through a blend of interactive workshops, practical exercises, and real-world case studies, our Front-Line Leadership Program provides a comprehensive and immersive learning experience. Led by industry experts and seasoned leadership coaches, you'll gain invaluable insights into the key principles of effective front-line leadership. 

 

Our program covers various vital leadership competencies, from mastering communication and conflict resolution to motivating and empowering your team. You'll learn proven techniques for setting clear expectations, providing constructive feedback, and fostering a positive and inclusive work environment that drives engagement and productivity. 

 

One of the unique aspects of our program is its emphasis on practical application. We understand that front-line leaders face unique challenges and time constraints, so we provide you with actionable strategies that can be implemented immediately in your day-to-day work. You'll receive personalized guidance and support, enabling you to confidently navigate complex situations and make informed decisions that align with your organization's goals. 

 

Moreover, our program creates a vibrant community of front-line leaders, offering opportunities for networking, peer learning, and collaboration. Connect with like-minded professionals from various industries, exchange best practices, and gain fresh perspectives on common leadership challenges. Expand your network and forge relationships that will continue to support your growth long after the program ends. 

 

 

4 Steps to TIME Shifting: For all Leaders   <--- Best Value 

 

Become the Master of Your Time with 4-steps to TIME Shifting and make time for the things that really matter! 

 

Are you a leader who constantly finds yourself struggling to balance work, personal life, and everything in between? Do you wish you had more control over your schedule and could find the perfect harmony between productivity and personal well-being? Look no further because (HPL proudly presents 4-Steps to TIME Shifting, the ultimate self-paced course designed exclusively for leaders like you. 

 

TIME Shifting is offered in two formats, virtual self-paced or virtual synchronized, allowing leaders to learn as needed and find an option that fits their schedule. This program empowers you to take charge of your life and become a true master of your time. Developed based on years of leadership experience, Glenn Sommerville provides you with invaluable scheduling tips and techniques, teaches you how to effectively block time for yourself, conquer email overload, and discover your personal and business rhythms. 

 

By enrolling in TIME Shifting, you begin to take back control of your life. This program equips you with the essential skills to optimize your time, boost your productivity, and confidently lead. Imagine easily managing your responsibilities, creating a healthy work-life balance, and achieving unprecedented results in all aspects of your life! 

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Leadership self-confidence is a vital attribute that empowers leaders to guide and inspire their teams effectively.  However, it's not uncommon for leaders to struggle with moments of self-doubt and insecurity.   Everyone, at some point in their leadership career, experiences some self-doubt.  If we don’t, we’re not being challenged, or our egos might be inflated!

 

The pressure to exude confidence can overwhelm today's fast-paced and competitive business landscape.  Building self-confidence as a leader is essential for your personal well-being and effectively leading and inspiring your team.  Team members can smell a lack of confidence a mile away!

Many want a quick fix or think there is a "silver bullet" to be self-confident suddenly. Unfortunately, leadership isn't like that!  Fortunately, there are concrete steps you can take to boost your leadership self-confidence and start building it today.  This article will explore three practical strategies to help you develop and maintain the self-assurance necessary for effective leadership.

 

1. Self-Awareness and Reflection

 

Understanding oneself is the foundation of building leadership self-confidence.  Self-awareness is the ability to recognize your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for growth.  It involves honest introspection and an acknowledgment of your accomplishments and the challenges you've overcome.  Here's how self-awareness and reflection can contribute to your confidence as a leader:

 

a. Acknowledging Achievements: Reflect on your past achievements, both big and small.  Often, we underestimate the significance of our accomplishments.  Think about what specific actions or attributes led to the accomplishments so that you may repeat or double down on them going forward.  Recognizing your successes can remind you of your capabilities and instill a sense of pride and self-worth.

 

b. Seeking Feedback:  Don't hesitate to seek feedback from peers, mentors, or team members.  Constructive feedback can provide valuable insights into how others perceive your leadership style.  This external perspective can help you identify areas for improvement and validate your strengths.   A simple but very effective way to obtain useful feedback is to ask them to answer these three questions:

 

  1. What should I start doing?
  2. What should I stop doing?
  3. What should I continue doing?

 

c. Focusing on Growth: Embrace the idea that leadership is a journey of continuous improvement.  While celebrating your accomplishments, also acknowledge that there's always room for growth.  This balanced approach to self-awareness allows you to appreciate your existing skills while remaining open to development.

 

Frequent reflection is the key to developing higher levels of self-awareness.  It doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming.  One way I reflect is each day I set an “intention.”  A few words that describe an intentional and specific learning, personal focus, or growth action I will take.  Then I “reflect” on the previous day by writing a few words to describe my most impactful reflection.  It can be something positive or constructive.  It might be based on interactions with people, things I learned, frustrations I experienced, or challenges I faced.  These help me understand what I want to do more that works for me or what I need to do differently.

 

2. Continuous Learning

 

Leadership is not static; it evolves with time and changing circumstances.  I often use the professional athlete analogy for leadership.  Becoming a professional athlete takes some basic skills and abilities that are developed and honed to high performance levels over time and with lots of early training.  Once they achieve professional levels, athletes train even harder, develop new skills, stay current, and continually improve themselves and their techniques to continue succeeding and performing at those levels.  It is the same for leadership as with professional sports!  Leaders must continue to learn and develop new skills to be prepared and capable of handling their challenges, most of which they have yet to experience.

 

Investing in personal and professional development is a powerful way to enhance your leadership self-confidence. Here's how continuous learning contributes to your confidence:

 

a. Expanding Knowledge:  Attend workshops, seminars, and training sessions that are relevant to leadership and related skills. Often in training and development sessions, there is more material than you can retain long term.  You may hear or read some concepts that you’ve heard before; however, a periodic refresher reminds us of concepts and techniques we may not have had an opportunity until now to utilize fully.  Acquiring new knowledge and expertise both motivates and equips you with the tools to confidently navigate complex challenges.  Networking opportunities at these types of sessions also can be a source of a confidence booster as you quickly learn that you are not alone with your challenges, have much to offer and coach others on, and can equally learn from others' experiences.

 

b. Skill Development:  Learning new skills, such as effective communication, conflict resolution, or strategic planning, can significantly boost your self-assurance.  As you apply these skills in real-world scenarios, you'll gain confidence in handling various leadership situations.  Look and seek out opportunities within your current team or organization that will provide you with new opportunities to develop new skills.  Assignments, projects, or just supporting and helping out others are great ways to develop new skills.

 

c. Staying Informed:  In a rapidly changing world, staying informed about industry trends, technological advancements, and market dynamics is crucial. Being well-informed bolsters your confidence and enables you to make informed decisions as a leader.   A great way of staying informed is to get out of your company a few times a year to benchmark other businesses.  These businesses don’t necessarily have to be in the same market as you.  Look for consortiums, organized benchmarking events, or utilize your professional network to request visits to other organizations.  Leverage your professional network to schedule periodic coffee or lunch meetings with other leaders to see what they are working on and their challenges or seek their advice or opinion.   Benchmarking and networking are awesome ways to stay informed about what is happening outside your immediate company's four walls.

 

3. Celebrate Small Wins

 

Leaders are often focused on motivating their teams and celebrating collective successes.  However, it's equally important to celebrate your personal achievements as a leader, no matter how minor they may seem.  Celebrating small wins forces you to occasionally step off that hamster wheel and realize what you have accomplished and where you have succeeded.  Otherwise, it’s too easy just to keep running to the next challenge or getting whacked by one without appreciating what we have achieved.  I am one who has always been so focused on the goal that I too often miss the smaller achievements on the journey to the ultimate goal.  When we do this, we may have a tendency to see the obstacles and challenges being faced, set-backs experienced, and future risks without recognizing just how far we have come, what we have learned and where we have developed, the problems we have solved, new skills picked up, and not appreciating that we are ready for what lays ahead and face them with renewed confidence.

 

Here's why celebrating small wins is essential for leadership self-confidence:

 

a. Reinforcing Competence:  Acknowledging your individual successes reinforces the belief that you are competent and effective as a leader. It serves as a reminder of your ability to make a positive impact and what you do well. 

 

b. Setting Personal Goals:  Establish personal leadership goals and milestones. When you achieve these goals, celebrate them. This practice boosts your self-confidence and provides a sense of purpose and direction in your leadership journey.  It’s amazing the difference setting goals can make.  Not only are you more likely to achieve more, it gives you concrete achievements to celebrate!

 

c. Creating a Positive Feedback Loop:  Celebrating small wins creates a positive feedback loop. The more you recognize your achievements, the more motivated and confident you become. This positivity can radiate to your team, creating a more inspiring leadership presence.

 

Conclusion

 

Leadership self-confidence is not about being flawless or never making mistakes.  It's about knowing your strengths, recognizing areas for growth, and continuously developing your skills.  You can steadily enhance your leadership self-confidence by practicing self-awareness and reflection, investing in continuous learning, and celebrating small wins.

 

In addition to the three strategies mentioned above, there are several other techniques and practices that should also be considered in support of leadership self-confidence.  Leadership often comes with its share of challenges and setbacks.  Developing resilience in the face of adversity can help you bounce back stronger and more confident.  View obstacles as opportunities for growth and learning.  Surround yourself with mentors and coaches who can provide guidance, perspective, and support.   Having a trusted advisor can help you navigate difficult situations and provide valuable insights to boost your confidence.  Taking care of your physical and mental well-being is crucial for maintaining confidence.  Engage in mindfulness practices, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

 

Remember that building self-confidence is a journey that takes time and effort. Embrace the growth process, and don't be discouraged by occasional setbacks.  As you consistently apply these strategies, you'll become a more self-assured and effective leader who can inspire and lead confidently.  So, start today on the path to becoming the confident leader you aspire to be.  Your team and your organization will benefit from your newfound self-assured leadership style.

 

 

 

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Working with various clients and in a number of coaching calls, we've found that many High Performing Leaders struggle holding their team accountable.  

 

While accountability is an uncomfortable topic for many leaders, it is essential in any organization. It is the foundation of trust and integrity, which are crucial in building a successful team and high performance cultures.  

 

When it comes to leadership accountability, it is even more important as leaders set the tone for the organization's culture and its performance. Leaders who hold their team members accountable not only drive their organizations towards success but also create a culture of excellence and mutual trust.  

 

Here we will discuss the importance of leadership accountability, the consequences of poor accountability, the reasons for leaders' fear of accountability, why team members are afraid of accountability, and how leaders can hold their team members accountable

 

 

The Importance of Team Member Accountability 

 

Leaders who hold their team members accountable set the standard for the organization. They demonstrate the importance of deadlines, quality, and expectations. When team members are held accountable, they are more likely to take their work seriously, leading to better performance and productivity. In addition, accountability creates a culture of responsibility and ownership. Team members are more likely to take ownership of their work and the success of the organization. 

 

Holding team members accountable helps leaders identify areas where improvements are needed. Leaders can identify gaps in skills, training, and communication, which can then be addressed. This leads to a continuous improvement cycle, which can result in higher quality work and better outcomes. 

 

Leaders Accountability to Their Team Members 

Group of leaders with there hands together to say

 

Leaders must lead by example. This means that they must be accountable to their team members, just as they expect their team members to be accountable to them. When leaders are accountable to their team members, they demonstrate the importance of honesty, integrity, and transparency. This creates a culture of mutual trust, where team members feel safe to share their opinions and ideas.  

 

 When leaders hold themselves accountable for their actions and decisions, they demonstrate to their team members the importance of taking ownership and responsibility for their work. This, in turn, leads to team members feeling empowered and motivated to perform their best. 

 

Empowered leaders who lead by example create a sense of integrity and credibility within the organization. When team members see their leaders walking the talk and taking responsibility for their actions, they are more likely to trust them and follow their lead. This trust and respect create a positive work environment where team members feel valued and respected. This further encourages team members to  hold themselves to higher levels of accountability. They can see the benefits through their leader's example.  

 

When no individual is exempted from this loop of accountability, no one will feel as if they are personally being "picked on" or singled out among their peers negatively. When everyone is accountable, the only ones who stand out are those who are not meeting their commitments. 

 

Consequences of Poor Accountability 

 

Poor accountability can have significant consequences for an organization. When team members are not held accountable, they may not take their work seriously, leading to low-quality work and missing or even dismissing deadlines. This can damage the reputation of the organization and lead to lost business opportunities. In addition, poor accountability can result in a toxic work environment, where team members blame each other for mistakes and avoid taking ownership of their work. This can lead to low morale, high turnover, and a negative culture. 

 

Woman sitting on the couch staring at her phone in shock. Furthermore, poor accountability can have legal and financial consequences. For example, if an organization fails to comply with regulations or laws, it can face legal action and financial penalties. Similarly, if an organization fails to meet its contractual obligations, it can lose business and face financial penalties. 

 

As you can see, poor accountability can very quickly spill over and spread like a horrible fungus through the work environment, making work toxic and dangerous for everyone, including customers! 

 

Consequences, by definition, are the results or effects that follow from a particular action or decision. They can be positive or negative, and they are essential to creating a sense of accountability in the workplace. When consequences are clear and consistent, they help team members understand the importance of their actions and their impact on the business's success. 

 

One of the most critical aspects of consequences is that they must be communicated clearly and in advance. When team members understand the potential outcomes of their actions, they are more likely to take their responsibilities seriously and work to meet their commitments. Additionally, clear communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and understands the expectations. 

 

Positive consequences can be used to reinforce good behaviour and motivate team members to continue performing at a high level. For example, an employee who consistently exceeds expectations could be given a promotion or a bonus as a reward for their hard work. Positive consequences recognize good performance and create a positive and productive workplace high performance culture that encourages team members to strive for excellence. 

 

On the other hand, negative consequences must be used sparingly and only as a last resort. When team members fail to meet their commitments or exhibit problematic behaviour, negative consequences are necessary to ensure accountability. However, it's important to note that negative consequences should be fair, consistent, and proportional to the offence. 

 

For example, a team member who consistently misses deadlines despite repeated warnings may need to face consequences such as a no, or low pay increase, demotion, or even termination. However, these consequences should be used as a last resort and only after other measures have been exhausted. Negative consequences should also be communicated clearly in advance so that team members understand the seriousness of their actions and the potential outcomes.  It's important to note that consequences should be applied equally and fairly to all team members. Inconsistent or unfair consequences can quickly erode trust and undermine accountability. Leaders must be consistent in their application of consequences and ensure that they are aligned with the values and goals of the business. 

 

Ultimately, consequences are essential in maintaining accountability in business. They provide a clear incentive for team members to meet their commitments and perform at a high level. By communicating consequences clearly and fairly, leaders can create a culture of accountability that fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility among team members. 

 

 

Leaders' Fear & Hesitation to Holding Team Members Accountable 

 

Despite the importance of holding team members accountable, many leaders hesitate or fear doing so. This can be due to several reasons, including: A man in a business suit looks up at the sky asking

 

Fear of Conflict: Many leaders avoid holding team members accountable because they want to avoid conflict. They may worry that holding team members accountable will damage relationships or cause further interpersonal damage.  

 

Lack of Communication Skills: Some leaders lack the communication skills to hold team members accountable. They may struggle to provide feedback or address issues in a constructive and respectful manner. 

 

Fear of Losing Talent: Some leaders may hesitate to hold team members accountable because they fear losing talent. They may worry that holding team members accountable will lead to high turnover or that team members will become resentful and disengaged. 

 

Fear of Offending: Most commonly, leaders fear they will offend or hurt team members' feelings when trying to create accountability. This fear is a combination of all the above.  

 

 

How to Move Past These Fears 

 

Fear of Conflict: 

1) Develop Conflict Resolution Skills: Leaders can learn conflict resolution skills, such as active listening, empathy, and problem-solving, to handle conflict effectively. 

 

2) Establish Clear Expectations: Leaders can establish clear expectations with team members, including performance standards, goals, and deadlines. This helps avoid misunderstandings and conflict in the future. 

 

3) Provide Constructive Feedback: Leaders can provide constructive feedback, focusing on specific behaviours and actions rather than personality or character.  (Future post?) 

 

 

Lack of Communication Skills: 

 1) Invest in Communication Training: Leaders can invest in communication training to improve their communication skills, including active listening, effective feedback, and non-verbal communication. Try looking at LinkedIn and Teachable for these types of programs if they are not offered internally at your company. 

 

2) Practice Open Communication: Leaders can practice open communication, including regular check-ins, team meetings, and one-on-one discussions. This helps create a culture of open communication and feedback. 

 

3) Seek Feedback: Leaders can seek feedback from team members on their communication style, including areas for improvement and strengths. Learn how your team best responds to feedback and try to work accordingly when giving difficult feedback.  

 

Fear of Losing Talent: 

 1) Focus on Development: Leaders can focus on developing team members, including coaching, mentoring, and training. This helps improve performance and increase retention.  In fact, providing higher levels of accountability can be an integral part of a retention strategy. 

 

2) Provide Opportunities for Growth: Leaders can provide opportunities for growth, including challenging assignments, cross-functional projects, and skill-building activities. This helps keep team members engaged and motivated. Be sure to only offer such opportunities to deserving team members. If one team member is particularly struggling to meet commitments, adding to their workload with high profile tasks/opportunities will cause more harm than good.  

 

3) Set Clear Expectations: Leaders can set clear expectations with team members, including performance standards, goals, and career paths. This helps team members understand what is expected of them and how they can progress in their careers. In some cases, locating or creating job descriptions outlining such expectations and requirements for the position in question might be helpful.  

 

Fear of Offending: 

1) Focus on Behaviours, Not People: Leaders can focus on specific behaviours and actions rather than personality or character. This helps keep the conversation constructive and avoids personal attacks. 

 

2) Emphasize the Positive: Leaders can emphasize the positive, including team members' strengths and contributions. This helps balance constructive feedback with positive reinforcement. Try the two positives and one opportunity approach: Start the meeting with two positives and pointing out where the team member has recently been successful and what specifically did they do that contributed to the successes. Next identify one opportunity for improvement, giving detailed specific examples and being careful to remove any personality or character accusations. Stick to the facts. "Project x was delayed by 3 days with no communication or explanation. Is there something that I don’t know about that caused this to take place?" End the conversation by coming up with a plan of action that meets both parties' expectations and prevents the incident from reoccurring.  

 

3) Create a Safe Space: Leaders can create a safe space for feedback and communication where team members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions. This helps build trust and fosters a culture of open communication.  You can do this by providing support, and asking the team member what kind of assistance or help they may need to meet their commitments.  

 

 

Ways to Enforce Accountability  

 

Understanding the importance of accountability and the different strategies for overcoming anxieties of approaching accountability with your teamit's time to

Young woman with arms crossed smiling.talk about concrete ways to enforce it. After all, accountability cannot happen if there is no consequence for unaccountability or inactive behaviour.  While not all transgressions warrant such drastic results as termination or formal warnings, several proactive approaches remain to "turning up the heat" and holding team members accountable.  

 

1) More Frequent Status Reviews and Check-Ins: Regular status reviews and check-ins provide valuable opportunities for team members to share progress updates and discuss any challenges they are facing. By increasing the frequency of these interactions, leaders can foster accountability and keep a close eye on project advancement. Frequent check-ins also enable timely feedback and corrective actions, allowing the team to address issues before they escalate. 

 

2) Breaking Down Larger Deliverables: Sometimes, complex or lengthy deliverables can lack transparency and accountability. Breaking them down into smaller, more manageable tasks allows for better tracking of progress and provides more frequent opportunities to assess performance. Regularly reviewing these smaller milestones helps identify potential bottlenecks or areas where additional support may be required. This is a great way to provide support while maintaining accountability

 

 

3) Scheduling Reviews at Less "Popular" Times: Leaders can ensure that team members remain attentive and engaged by scheduling status reviews and meetings at less convenient times, such as early mornings or late afternoons. This approach prompts individuals to take accountability for their time management, encouraging punctuality and focused participation. It also demonstrates the team leader's commitment to fostering accountability throughout the organization. 

 

 

4) Temporarily Reassigning "Liked" Responsibilities: To address accountability issues, team leaders may consider temporarily reassigning tasks or responsibilities that struggling team members particularly enjoy. This approach can be a powerful motivator for improved performance as individuals realize the consequences of their actions and strive to regain the projects they had previously enjoyed. It also encourages a more balanced distribution of workload and prevents complacency. 

 

 

 

5) Removing Perceived Perks until Performance Improves: If team members are consistently underperforming, leaders might temporarily withdraw certain perceived perks, such as the option to work remotely or flexible scheduling. Leaders encourage accountability and a strong work ethic by aligning these privileges with consistent, high-quality performance. However, it is important to communicate clearly the conditions for reinstating these benefits, ensuring that team members understand the expectations and goals they need to meet. 

 

 

Holding team members accountable is crucial for achieving project success and maintaining a high-performance culture. By implementing strategies such as more frequent status reviews, breaking down deliverables, scheduling reviews at less convenient times, temporarily reassigning responsibilities, and adjusting perceived perks, leaders can effectively turn up the heat and foster a culture of accountability within their teams. These approaches promote individual responsibility and contribute to overall team productivity and success. 

 

 

Summary/Quick Read  

 

Accountability is crucial for effective leadership and business success, but many leaders face various reservations and challenges that hinder them from maintaining it. These include conflict avoidance, communication skills, fear of losing talent, and anxiety about offending team members. Overcoming these concerns requires leaders to approach accountability with empathy, active listening, and a focus on problem-solving rather than blame. Leaders can also invest in communication training and coaching to improve their communication skills, provide regular feedback and coaching to their team members, and create a culture of accountability that promotes individual and organizational growth. Ultimately, having consequences in business is essential to maintain accountability and promote a high performance culture of responsibility and ownership. Leaders must take action when team members fail to meet expectations or violate policies to maintain accountability and ensure the success of the business. 

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What is high performance leadership?

 

High performance leadership is a leadership style that is characterized by a focus on achieving exceptional results through effective team building, strategic planning, and strong communication skills. It is a type of leadership that inspires and motivates individuals and teams to work towards common goals and achieve excellence.

 

High performance leadership is not just about managing a team or getting tasks done. It’s about inspiring people to work together towards a common shared purpose. To create and achieve a high performance team, it’s important to create a common shared purpose for the team that is aligned with the overall organization’s vision and strategy. This common shared purpose should be specific enough that each team member knows how their team contributes to the organization’s vision and their explicit role within the team. When teams understand their purpose and see how their contributions are important, they are more motivated and engaged, resulting in better outcomes and overall success for the organization. 

 

The three high performance leadership essentials for high performance teams

 

  1. Common Shared Purpose
  2. Proven Competency
  3. Accountability

 

Why is a common shared purpose important?

 

A common shared purpose is crucial for any high performance team, as it helps align everyone toward the same goal. A team without a common shared purpose is like a ship without a destination. It may have a crew, but without a clear direction, it will drift aimlessly. When everyone understands the purpose and direction of the team, they can work together more efficiently and effectively. A common shared purpose brings the team together, and each member feels part of something bigger than themselves.

 

Feels part of something bigger than themselves”

 

A common shared purpose creates a sense of belonging and commitment to the team. When people feel like they are part of a team working towards a common shared purpose and goal, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. It also helps team members see how their contributions are valuable, and this leads to a greater sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in their work. When individuals see how their work contributes to the greater good, they are more motivated to do their best.

 

Creating a common shared purpose aligned with the organization’s vision

 

A common shared purpose must be aligned with the organization’s vision and strategy. The vision is the long-term goal or destination that the organization aims to achieve, while the strategy outlines the approach and actions required to reach that goal. The common shared purpose of the team must fit into this broader vision and strategy, and each team member should understand how their team’s work contributes to achieving this vision.

 

A common shared purpose should also be specific and measurable. Vague goals such as “improve customer satisfaction” or “increase revenue” are not enough. Instead, the team’s common shared purpose should be more specific, such as “reduce customer complaints by 50%” or “increase revenue by 10% in the next quarter”. Specific goals give the team a clear target to aim for, and it’s easier to measure progress and success.

 

When creating a common shared purpose, involving the team in the process is important. By involving team members, you can gain their input and feedback, and this creates a greater sense of ownership and commitment to the purpose. When people feel like they have contributed to creating a common shared purpose, they are more likely to be invested in it and work towards achieving it.

 

How a common shared purpose leads to success and accountability

 

A common shared purpose provides focus and direction for a high performance team. When everyone knows what they are working towards, it’s easier to prioritize tasks and make decisions that align with the purpose. This helps the team avoid distractions and focus on the important work contributing to the organization’s vision and strategy.

 

In high performance teams, a common shared purpose creates a sense of accountability. When everyone understands the purpose and their role in achieving it, they are more likely to take ownership of their work and be accountable for their actions. This creates a culture of responsibility and accountability, where everyone is committed to doing their best to achieve the common shared purpose.

 

A common shared purpose also promotes collaboration and teamwork. When everyone understands their role and how it contributes to the greater goal, there will be more collaboration to achieve success. This creates a culture of teamwork and cooperation, where everyone is working towards the same goal rather than focusing solely on their individual tasks.

 

How a common shared purpose creates proven competency

 

A common shared purpose is a powerful driver of proven competency among team members. When everyone on the team is aligned around a common shared purpose, they understand what competencies are necessary to accomplish that goal. This shared understanding and proven competency with each other create a sense of accountability and responsibility among team members, motivating them to develop and improve the skills required to achieve their objectives.

 

Collaboration is essential in ensuring the team has the proven competencies to become a high performance team. Cross-training is an effective way to develop and improve the proven competencies of team members. When team members work together to share knowledge and skills, they learn from each other's experiences and become more capable of working towards a common shared purpose. Additionally, cross-training helps to build trust among team members, which is essential for effective collaboration. By sharing expertise and supporting each other, team members can work together more efficiently and effectively, creating a positive feedback loop that leads to higher performance and greater success. Ultimately, a common shared purpose and a collaborative approach to building proven competencies are critical components of a high performance team.

 

A common shared purpose helps create a positive work culture when people feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.

 

Formula One example of common shared purpose, proven competency, and accountability

 

 

An example of high performance leadership and the resulting high performance team that we often reference in our leadership development programs is that of a Formula One racing team.  In Formula One racing, every member of the team plays a vital role in achieving the ultimate goal of winning the race or achieving a points goal for the season. One of the most critical teams is the pit crew, who provide the necessary services to the car during pit stops in the fastest time possible.

 

The pit crew's common shared purpose is to work together seamlessly and efficiently to service the car and get it back on the track as quickly as possible. The pit crew comprises several highly skilled individuals, each with a specific role to play. Some team members are responsible for changing the tires, while others refuel the car, and some adjust the aerodynamics of the car.

 

In a race where every second counts, the pit crew's ability to provide fast and efficient services is crucial. The time spent in the pits can make the difference between winning and losing the race. As a result, the pit crew must have the proven competency to work with precision and focus on ensuring that the car is serviced correctly and efficiently.

 

The pit crew's contribution to the team's vision of winning the race cannot be overstated. By providing the necessary services in the shortest time possible, they help minimize the time the car spends in the pits, allowing the driver to get back on the track quickly and maintain a competitive position.

 

The pit crew's efforts and accountability to each other and the greater team also help improve the driver's confidence and motivation, knowing they have a reliable and efficient team behind them. This can be critical in a race where the slightest mistake can result in a significant setback. 

 

The pit crew plays a vital role in Formula One racing, and their common shared purpose is to provide the necessary services to the car in the fastest time possible. Achieving the overall team’s goal of winning the race or finishing the season with a targeted number of points isn’t entirely within their control or responsibility. However, by clearly understanding their common shared purpose, demonstrating proven competency, and having high accountability to each other and the entire racing team, they are able to expertly do their part in performing the most effective and efficient pit stops that will certainly make a difference in achieving the overall team’s goals.

 

High performance leadership steps for High performance teams

 

1. Define a clear mission: In high performance leadership requires leaders to establish a clear and concise mission statement that outlines the team's common shared purpose and objectives. This statement should be communicated effectively to every member of the team and serve as a guiding principle for all decisions and actions.

 

2. Foster a sense of accountability: In high performance leadership, leaders should encourage team members to take ownership of their roles and responsibilities and to be accountable to each other. They should empower them to make decisions and take actions that align with the team’s mission and common shared purpose.

 

3. Build a culture of collaboration: In high performance leadership, leaders should foster a culture of collaboration and teamwork. They should encourage open communication, trust, and respect among team members and create a safe no blame environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions and learning from mistakes.

 

4. Provide opportunities for growth: In high performance leadership, leaders should provide opportunities for team members to learn and grow. This can be achieved through training programs, mentoring, or coaching. By investing in their development, leaders show that they value their team members and are committed to their success.

 

5. Celebrate success: In high performance leadership, leaders should recognize and celebrate team successes. This can be done through public or private recognition, rewards, or incentives. Celebrating success reinforces the importance of the common shared purpose and motivates team members to continue working towards the organization's objectives.

 

6. Lead by example: High performance leaders must lead by example. They need to consistently demonstrate the behaviours and actions that they expect from their team members. By modelling the values and principles of the organization, leaders can create a culture that reinforces the shared common purpose and inspires everyone to work towards achieving it.

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Summary

 

In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and burnt out. Interruptions can be a significant cause of burnout for team members, leading to decreased productivity and morale. However, in leadership, one of the leader’s primary roles is to “Protect the Core,” or in other words, protect your team from interruptions and burnout.  Protect the Core is about shielding your team from interruptions that distract them from focusing on their core priorities or responsibilities.  It's about watching out for their well-being.  It's a double edged sword actually.  An effective leader, protects their core team, and by doing so, protects the core responsibilities of the team at the same time.

 

Here are ten steps a leader can take to “Protect the Core”: 

 

Click on any of the ten steps to learn more information about it.

  1. Set clear goals and expectations
  2. Use project management tools
  3. Establish a communication plan
  4. Encourage breaks
  5. Provide resources for stress management
  6. Encourage open communication
  7. Provide alternative work arrangements, not necessarily working from home
  8. Minimize meetings
  9. Celebrate successes
  10. Monitor for signs of burnout


 

Ten Steps to protect your team from interruptions and burnout

 

1.  Set clear goals and expectations:
One of the best ways leaders can protect their team from interruptions is to set clear goals and expectations for everyone. When team members know what they need to accomplish and when they need to do it, they can work more efficiently and stay focused on their tasks. Leaders can also set expectations for how team members should communicate with one another, such as what times of day are best for meetings, collective focus times, or when it's appropriate to interrupt someone's work.

 

A common mistake a leader can make is to assume that all their team members understand their goals and the expectations of them. Instead, when the team is under pressure or the leader suspects that team members are feeling overwhelmed, they should start by reviewing individual team members’ goals to ensure they are, in fact, the current priority.  Often the need to change priorities can go undetected as the team member may be unaware of the priority change.  In addition, a review of expectations helps ensure everyone is aligned on what needs to be done and when and what doesn’t. Things can get lost in the shuffle, and tasks that were once important may no longer be necessary and can be stopped, or at the very least, can be paused for some time.

 

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2.  Use project management tools
Project management tools can be beneficial for reducing interruptions and keeping everyone on track. These tools allow team members to communicate about projects, assign tasks, and track progress without constantly interrupting one another. Using these tools enables team members to stay focused on their work and reduce interruptions from others.

 

A daily huddle board is a visual management tool used by teams to quickly and easily communicate updates, progress, and issues related to a specific project or process. The board is typically displayed in a common area where all team members can easily access it at any time.

 

The huddle board usually consists of several sections or columns, each representing a different aspect of the project or process being tracked. These sections may include:
 

  • To-Do: This section lists the tasks that need to be completed during the day and who is responsible for each job.
  • In Progress: This section lists the tasks currently being worked on, along with any notes or comments about the status of each job.
  • Completed: This section lists the tasks completed during the day.
  • Issues/Blockers: This section lists any problems or issues preventing progress and includes information about who is responsible for addressing each issue.
  • Metrics: This section may include charts, graphs, or other data visualizations that track key performance indicators (KPIs) related to the project or process.

During the daily huddle, team members gather around the board to review progress, identify any issues or blockers, and discuss necessary adjustments or next steps. This brief daily meeting helps ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.  The leader needs to tackle any barriers beyond the team member's control that prevent them from accomplishing their priorities.

 

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3.  Establish a communication plan
Communication is essential for any team, but it's crucial to establish a plan for how and when team members should communicate with one another. For example, the leader might set specific times of day for team meetings or establish a protocol for how team members should communicate urgent issues. Establishing a communication plan can help reduce interruptions and ensure everyone is on the same page.

 

Part of a team communication plan should include establishing some guidelines or team code of conduct around when people can be interrupted.  Simple visual cues as simple as coloured paper or sticky notes to indicate when someone can be interrupted work very effectively.  For example, green paper means ‘come on in’ or open for interruptions; yellow may mean focused work, only interrupt if it cannot wait, and red meaning do not interrupt unless it is an absolute emergency.  It is also essential to clearly define what cannot wait and what is an absolute emergency.  Another simple example is if someone has their headset on, they should not be interrupted.

 

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4.  Encourage breaks
Taking breaks throughout the day is essential for preventing burnout and increasing productivity. Leaders should encourage team members to take breaks and step away from work when needed. This could mean taking a short walk, grabbing coffee, or simply stretching. By taking breaks, team members can recharge their batteries and return to work more focused and energized.

 

Research indicates that humans need a mental break every 90 to 120 minutes.  Setting a timer on a cell phone or another electronic prompt effectively reminds you that you need to step away for a few minutes, re-energize, and regroup.

 

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5.  Provide resources for stress management
Stress is a significant contributor to burnout, so it's essential to provide resources for stress management. This could mean offering meditation or yoga classes, providing access to mental health services, or simply encouraging team members to care for themselves. A simple team stretch throughout the day or a group walk at lunch is very easy to do.  By supporting team members' mental health and wellbeing, leaders can help prevent burnout and keep everyone on track.

 

Rather than asking team members if they are keeping busy or even the general how they are doing, ask them if they have adequate time to think and plan.  Unfortunately, poor cultural norms sometimes prevent team members from admitting they are overworked or overwhelmed.  By asking them if they have adequate time to think and plan, a leader is likely to get a more accurate response to the team members' current workload and state of mind.  A leader needs to create a culture and environment where not only will their team tell them they have too much work, but the leader rewards them for doing so.  This means the leader has to be intentional about their questions and responses.

 

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6.  Encourage open communication
Encouraging open communication among team members can help prevent interruptions and reduce stress. When team members feel comfortable talking to one another, they're less likely to interrupt one another or feel like they're working in isolation. So leaders need to encourage their team members to share their thoughts and feelings and provide a safe and supportive environment for open communication.

 

A leader should model open communication by being transparent and honest with their team. Share information openly and quickly, and encourage others to do the same.  Ensure that all team members are respectful of each other and that everyone's ideas and opinions are valued.  When conflicts arise, and they will occur during challenging times, address them quickly and fairly. Encourage team members to work through conflicts together and find solutions.

 

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7.  Provide alternative work arrangements, not necessarily working from home
A potentially touchy subject these days, however, flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible schedules, can be beneficial for preventing interruptions and reducing stress. By offering team members more flexibility in their work arrangements, a leader can help them better manage their time and reduce interruptions from outside sources. This can also help prevent burnout by giving team members more control over their work-life balance.

 

If remote work is not an option, create a quiet space for team members to work in. This could be a private office or a designated quiet area where team members can focus on their work without distractions.  The cafeteria outside break times can often be an ideal place to escape interruptions!  Sometimes a change of location can be as good as a rest. 

 

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8.  Minimize meetings

Meetings can be a significant source of interruptions and distractions, leading to burnout. Minimize the number of meetings, and keep them short and focused. Encourage team members to attend only the meetings that are essential for their work.  Let them know it’s ok to decline a meeting if it is not essential to their priorities.  It is also important to establish what is and is not deemed essential while maintaining respect and professionalism when declining meeting requests. 

 

Implementing a meeting standard duration of 20 or 50 minutes is a great way to improve meeting efficiency and reduce the burden on your team members.  Learn more about this in our article Time Saving Tip!

 

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9.  Celebrate successes
Finally, it's important to celebrate the team's successes and recognize their hard work. When team members feel appreciated and valued, they're more likely to stay motivated and focused. Celebrating successes can also help prevent burnout by reminding team members of their impact and why their work is important.
 

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10.  Monitor for signs of burnout

Regularly check in with team members to assess their workload and stress levels. Look for signs of burnout, such as decreased motivation, productivity, and absenteeism. Take action to address burnout when it is identified, such as reducing workload or providing additional support.
 

Protecting the Core from interruptions and preventing burnout requires a multifaceted approach. However, by following and implementing these ten steps, leaders can create a supportive and productive environment for their team members, significantly reducing the risk of burnout.

 

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One of the things leaders and organizations often overlook when implementing organizational change and transformation is that the change occurs at the speed of the slowest person to traverse the change curve. 
 
Change is external to the team member and is situational.  However, the transition is internal, unique and psychological for each team member, which causes them to traverse the emotional states on the change curve differently.
 
Leaders are in the business of making changes within their teams and organizations.  To do so effectively, they must lead the transition intentionally.  Leadership can't force their team members through the change curve, but they can lead them through the transition by creating a well-thought-out change plan to communicate and engage them throughout the entire process.

 

Learn more about our Advanced Leadership Transformation leadership development program.
 

What about those that resist change?  Well, resistance is pretty much guaranteed.  However, understanding why people resist change is necessary for leading your team along the change curve.  Preparation for resistance starts in the initial planning phase of any change initiative.  A leader must consider why someone may resist the change and then develop actions to mitigate these resistance causes.  Ignoring or not properly planning for them is a common failure mode of change! 

 

Although planning for resistance is necessary to reduce the magnitude and depth of any resistance, the leader must always proactively seek out those who resist the change throughout all the phases.  Having the skills to recognize the underlying reason they are resisting allows the leader to face any resistance with confidence and realistic expectations.

 

Learn more about our Advanced Leadership Transformation leadership development program.

 

Regular and consistent communication is another important aspect of leading a team through change.  Regardless if the change is good, bad, or indifferent, people want to be and stay informed.  Without effective communication from the leader, the rumour mill will definitely take over.  The problem with rumour mills is that the leader is often unaware of what is being communicated until a crisis!  At that point, clarifying and calming everyone down can be very challenging.  Proactively creating a two-way communication plan is important to have right from the first announcement of the change until well after the change has been implemented.  Determining what message needs to be sent a different times throughout the change, to what stakeholders, by whom, and using which media is critical!  However, establishing feedback loops so that the leader receives timely information from the team is also necessary.

 

If you're a leader, you lead change!  Remember, though, change occurs at the speed of the slowest person to traverse the change curve!  You can't force people through change, but you can lead them through it!

 

Learn more about our Advanced Leadership Transformation leadership development program.

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Now that you've had a great summer with the family and the kids are excited to return to school, it's finally “me time”! Time for you!
 
The coming of fall and the kid's return to school creates an excellent opportunity for leaders to reorganize themselves for the long winter ahead! I know, depressing, right? No! It doesn’t have to be! If you’re thinking of taking steps to get yourself better organized and in more control of your day, here are a few tips for you:
 
* “Prioritized Leader Actions” or PLA. A very effective old tool, with hopefully a more enticing name. PLA is a great tool to get and stay on top of your biggest priorities. Try it! Check it out here.
 
* My favourite life-saving trick is to set your scheduling app to 20 and 50-minute meetings instead of the typical 30 and 60-minutes. Doing so gives you time to deal with the small things, stay on top of emails, or grab coffee throughout your busy day. Full article here.
 
* Block multiple 1-hour time slots in your calendar across the future horizon. Due to a packed calendar in the near term, you may need to start in a month or more from the current date. These blocks are to reserve “me time” so you can focus on your top priorities. Schedule at the most likely times of the week and hours of the day, reducing the chances of being overridden by mandatory meetings. As you get closer to the dates and know exactly what you’ll use the block for, you can invite other people as necessary. Sure, some blocks may get cancelled, but not all when done with thought and consideration. As a result, you’ll have more time for your priorities than you do today. Promise!
 
I hope you find these helpful.

What do you do to make time for yourself or the things that matter to you? Leave a comment.

 

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One of the things I’ve always loved is the simple kaizens (continuous improvement). I was reminded of this recently working with RAB Design Lighting when the team there was conducting some line trials. Having coached the team on the importance of detailed trial planning and real-as-possible process set-up, but also the need to be balanced with simplicity, low cost, and high flexibility, I was thrilled to see their creativity and ingenuity that met these two potentially conflicting criteria. See examples in the pictures below.

 



The two criteria mentioned above is important because you want a trial to simulate the real line conditions as much as possible, however, things will definitely change as you learn more. So you don’t want to invest time and money building/buying a lot of things that may not actually be used in the permanent line or that may require several iterations of changes to get just right.

When conducting line trails careful planning is necessary. Planning such as: Clearly defining the purpose of the trial is critical. Determining what are you trying to prove, disprove or discover. Setting up the line to simulate as close as possible what the actual real line will look and feel like. Protecting the trial from “noise” or other things that can negatively impact or distract from the purpose of the trial. Although some of these things maybe real, you should try and isolate them from initial trials if they are not directly related to the purpose. There is a time and place to allow real time disruptions and abnormalities but not in early trials. Identifying and defining the number of trial observers, their roles, responsibilities and tracking needs. Deciding on what metrics to track and measure throughout the trial and who is going to do that. Scheduling, taking into account breaks, lunches and shift end, is also important.

Trials are to experiment and learn. They can also be a great deal of fun along the way! 

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