By Adenike Babajamu (November 2020)

You cannot motivate a team to deliver performance just by your authority or your title. The 21st century executive is no longer awed by the title of his/her boss. So wether you are a CEO, GMD, MD, President or Chairman of the organisation, you most possess qualities that will inspire, convince and encourage your team for maximum performance. You must continuously awe your customers by consistently delivering quality products. To do this you may need to take the lessons of sport to managing people using the following steps:

  1. Create an extremely performance culture among your team.
  2. Identify visible individual performance.
  3. Training at all levels.
  4. Establish a well defined and transparent selection process.
  5. Celebrate/ reward performance.

Great leaders irrespective of the nature of teams being led, must possess qualities that will distinguish them and place them on the top of the pyramid of their team. These go beyond their IQ, academic qualifications and several years of experience. Most problems with organisations today even in the midst of high level Information Technology of our time are people problem.

People are the driving force of all organisations. Great Leaders therefore thrive on excellent people management. This is however only possible and achievable by leaders with well balanced Emotional Intelligence (EI). From my experience and a study of great leaders, I have observed a few qualities common to successful leaders that are still relevant in present day.

Great Leaders Build Trust: All great leaders among many things, start by building the trust of their team, stakeholders and that of their customers/clients. They do this by:

  1. Honouring all stakeholders (Staff, Customers/clients/ Community/Government rules. Customers may not always be right but they are always kings and desired to be treated as such.
  2. Developing and exhibiting character, professional competency and efficiency, consistently
  3. Upholding high ethical standards.
  4. Modelling the behaviour you expect from others by walking the talk.
  5. Admitting mistakes, apologising where required and promptly taking steps to correct them.
  6. Live above board

Great Leaders are visionary: Today’s employees are not only interested in pay checks or salaries. They are motivated by the vision of the organisation and are driven by a sense of purpose towards its realisation. A great leader champions the vision of the organisation. He articulates it in clear terms and ensures that higher purpose always governs the direction of the organisation.

Great Leaders are strategic: They not only define the purpose and create the direction of the organisation, they must have clear and effective strategies for moving towards the organisational goals. While this is not done unilaterally, they are collaborative and smartly seeking input and cohesion of all stakeholders.

Great Leaders are creative and innovative: They know how to align all resources of the organisation (human and capital) to get the results they want. For examples;

  1. Resources such as people, finances, time are organised to deliver the plan, task, or goal maximally .
  2. They ensure that all operational processes are focused by establishing a self-sustaining system that is built to enable everyone to work the plan and deliver results with agility.
  3. They Continuously confirm that everyone understands their unique roles and responsibilities and their impact on the bottomline.

Great Leaders Create a win-win work environment: to win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace, therefore great leaders ensure a win-win situation exist both in the organisation and in their relationship with the clients. This is demonstrated by creating value addition along the value chain. Internally the following must be put in place for the team spirit:

  1. Motivating the team to be actively engaged in delivering best class results by setting standards.
  2. Celebrating achievements by putting in place a well articulated reward systems
  3. Acknowledging shortcomings and introduce sanctions.
  4. Challenging all to do better through swift and constructive feedback.
  5. Creating an environment where high-performers feel valued and celebrated

Great Leaders are result oriented: They are able to produce extraordinary results, meeting and often exceeding expectations. They go above the ordinary to the extra ordinary. Extraordinary leaders are conscious of their commitment to performance, and of their promises to stakeholders. They put in every effort towards honouring that promise and delivery of their trust by.

  • Repeatedly and consistently delivery of target.
  • Embracing and embodying a results-oriented mindset
  • They never loose focus of the near and long term goals.

Leaders are leaders only because they lead the people efficiently and effectively towards the realisation of set objectives that add value to all the stakeholders.

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