The leader determines performance levels by imposing believable expectation standards that are believed and valued by all.
From a profitability perspective it is clear that massive resources are often invested unproductively by organisations in order to compensate for lack of cohesiveness and authority in attitude management; lack of common leadership language & believable (believed) leadership models; and a lack of a believable valued standard culture.
Organisations which do not invest in generating positivity and valued standards amongst their leadership and staff and who do not follow believable leadership models, pay a very high price in some form or the other along the way.
In numerous meetings with many leaders throughout the years, and in specific research interviews and studies of leadership icons, a clear pattern emerges of what constitutes a profitable leader. Their attributes, or critical success factors, are as follows.
The 6 critical success attributes of profitable leadership:
1. Acts in the positive aspiration mode
Profitable leaders know what their aspirations are and they strive to accomplish them by implementing positive strategies. Because they hunger after positive aspirations, they strive to make decisions only when in a positive frame of mind. They consciously or instinctively realise that a negative mood triggers negative reactions and results. They view negativity as the enemy.
2. They generate positive aspirations in others
Profitable leaders are able to evoke in others the desire to strive after positive aspirations in a positive manner. By doing this they multiply their efforts exponentially. Many leader we have dealt with radiates a positive attitude towards their responsibilities and their people, even life, but they may not necessarily possess the ability to consciously endow others with a similar positive attitude. Profitable leaders place a priority emphasis on motivating others by getting them to function in a mode of working towards positive aspirations
3. They generate directional clarity
Profitable leaders have an instinct for directional clarity. They resent ignorance and confusion. They demand in their own lives, and in the lives of those around them, to know where they are going and what they are doing. All their strategies and objectives are geared towards positive aspirations. They feel a hunger for direction in all things. They realise, consciously or instinctively, that motivation (working towards positive aspirations) is meaningless without clarity of direction. To profitable leaders, all things in life have a directional component.
4. They generate and economise supporting structures
Profitable leaders mobilise and economise supporting structures and organisation in order to accomplish their aspirations. Structure is defined here as people, organisation, systems, facilities and resources needed to give substance to aspirations and direction. Profitable leaders believe that structure is designed to support aspirations and direction and not the other way around. They have a keen sense of balance between aspirations and relevancy in a structure. Profitable leaders tend to resist bureaucracy as soon as it threatens profitability. The profitable leader’s attitude towards frugality is not to be confused with stinginess. Frugality is a universal attribute of the optimal use of resources.
5. They master organisational dynamics
They have a clear feel for organisational dynamics. They look at the organisation as a reflection of aspirations, rather than having a right to exist by itself. They tend to view organisation in simple dynamics consisting of aspirations (people), direction (objectives and goals) and structure (supporting organisation and resources). To them organisation should be a simple and measurable servant of their vision. Because of this attitude they have no hesitancy in cutting bureaucracy to the bone when required to do so.
6. They apply cost of non-compliance compensation leadership
Profitable leaders have a sense of the cost of non-compliance in relation to profitability principles. They constantly measure people, projects and organisation against performance. Where they detect non-compliance with their objectives, they compensate immediately in order to generate profitability. These leaders measure the cost of non-compliance over and above the required financial reporting systems. They find ways and means of measuring profitability elements such as wastage, aspiration unity, stress, distrust, directional confusion and accountability/ownership. Compensation leadership is about restoring the balance with regard to profitability principles.
Profitable leaders have a well-developed sense of what constitutes a real and/or potential threat to facilitate profitable leadership.
The six critical success attributes/factors of profitable leadership provide an exiting basis for developing a strategy to facilitate profitable leadership. Our research provides insight into numerous leadership challenges in modern society. It also generates clarity of understanding in relation to management practices that foster bureaucracy rather than profitability.
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Adriaan Groenewald is a leadership expert and commentatator
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