The Role of the Leader in Driving Performance

Companies continue to struggle to design their Performance Management Systems so they drive and reward the right behaviors.   Design elements like rating scales, when to rate, what to rate and how the ratings are calibrated are continuously revamped in hopes of yielding change.   However, there is one element that often gets overlooked.  The role of the leader.  

Leaders exist for one reason only.  To drive performance.    Leadership Development is a multi-billion dollar industry that is filled with lots of hype about what makes a good leader.   A good leader is one that aligns the team's skills and abilities to achieve valuable, strategic outcomes.   If you are a humble, servant leader but you don't achieve outcomes and cannot get the team to execute, then you're not leading.  

There are three main roles of the leader when it comes to performance:

  1. First, Leaders need to know why they exist.  Leaders exist to drive the performance of their team.  And they can never take their eye off that ball.  Getting the right talent, training them, setting and measuring the right goals and providing on-going feedback is their main role.  It's not about performance reviews... It's about the performance environment.  
  2. Second, Leaders need to set the right goals.  SMART doesn't always mean valuable.  Leaders must ensure the goals they set for themselves and their teams align with the business strategy and create the outcomes that drive the strategy forward. 
  3. Lastly, Leaders need to constantly give information and feedback to ensure the team is performing.   Think about a football coach.  They have a playbook, each player knows their role and the play, and there are dozens of huddles in every game where information is shared and direction is set. 

Leaders must create the right Performance Environment!

 

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