A board member sent me an article about effective leadership in a business like ours. A consulting firm called McKinsey identified 20 leadership behaviors common in organizations. Those behaviors included many admirable things like:
Making good decisions
Fostering mutual respect
Being a change agent
Clarifying the mission
Recovering from adversity
Being a role model
These are constructive behaviors, every one. In this space, I think I’ve written notes encouraging you to use them.
But McKinsey dug deeper. They took high performance teams and differentiated them between low performing teams. These teams crossed geographic and cultural boundaries. Here are the four behaviors which set apart the outstanding from the average.
Great leadership teams:
- Solve problems effectively. They collect data. They dig deep. They consider issues objectively. They define problems so well, it makes solutions simple to implement. They make problems the enemy and work together to solve them.
- Operate with a strong results orientation. They care about what gets done each day. They measure results and endeavor to improve things. They focus on efficiency. They improve productivity. They have standards and hold each other accountable. Complacency is not in their makeup.
- They seek different perspectives. Effective leaders realize that all of us are smarter than each of us. They value the perspectives of each teammate without regard to position. They remain open to new ideas. They are active in seeking them. They are gifted in discerning “what’s important now” and pursuing it.
- Supporting others. Leaders in successful organizations offer support. They show a sincere interest for others. They defend the oppressed and unheard. They champion the good ideas. They don’t let conflict go unaddressed and resolve it with thoughtful communication.
First, let me say I wouldn’t tell you that these four behaviors are the key ones.
But, after reflection, I can see how they could be the “special sauce”.
Each one requires humility which places values on others as compared to self.
Each one requires shared responsibility which encourages daily accountability.
Each one requires a dedication to discerning truth and developing a real sense of what is happening.
Those things contribute to success. How does your team match up to those behaviors?