As American economist Paul Krugman once said ‘productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything.’
In today’s competitive market, building a high performing team is smart business. However, despite the majority of business leaders in New Zealand considering it a top priority, research suggests it is proving difficult to achieve.
In 2005, Dan Malachowski completed a study in which he examined the performance of 10,000 British employees and not surprisingly, the results were disturbing. According to Mr Malachowski, 33% of all respondents said they were spending at least 2 hours per day working on private matters. (The estimated cost of poor ‘people management’ in the UK in 2004 was 23 billion dollars, 105 billion in the USA).
Whilst New Zealand executives often say reports completed in such markets do not necessarily apply to ‘us’, it is important we acknowledge the fact that we New Zealanders still lag a long way behind the United States, Australia and Great Britain when it comes to employee productivity.
If you are serious about improving the performance of your workforce, it makes sense to focus on those who govern it.
Improving Leadership Performance
Experts believe improving leadership effectiveness is the key to improving productivity; in a recent survey, only 17.3% of NZ employees said their managers were effective leaders i.e. capable of leading and developing people.
In my opinion the purpose of a leadership team is to ‘add value’ to a business. Whilst this may seem irritatingly obvious, it concerns me the number of people in leadership positions who have little comprehension as to what this really means.
I believe your leadership team is employed to ‘grow’ and ‘improve’ your business. They are not employed to keep the business going nor are they there to manage systems and procedures – that is the role of your operations manual.
It is only when a leadership team truly understands why they are there (purpose) that they will be in a position to perform.
As a rule of thumb, I suggest you consider the role of ‘adding value’ in the context of leadership to be the following;
• Providing strategic direction
• Setting performance standards
• Building performance capability
• Developing a performance culture
Over the next four issues I will share with you a brief summary of my thoughts on each;
Providing Strategic Direction
Your strategic plan is an important document that provides key stakeholders with an overview of your goals and objectives. It also provides a performance platform for your workforce. In this issue, we will focus our attention on the latter as this is the one most companies seem to grapple with.
A well designed, internally-focused strategic plan will provide your workforce with a very clear picture of the following:
• what you want to achieve (mission)
• what you want to become (vision)
• how you want to be perceived (intentions)
• the key attitudes and behaviors your team need to demonstrate to
build greater brand value (values)
• the specific goals each person needs to achieve
Assuming you are committed to growth, it is critical your leadership team understands how to achieve it.
Firstly, you need to ensure your workforce understands what you are trying to achieve, hence the reason it is important your managers can articulate your vision with confidence i.e. can talk about what the company could/will be rather than just the way it currently is. If people get the sense there will always be issues, because that is all managers ever talk about/focus on, what is the point in trying to resolve them.
Get people involved in your strategy. If they do not feel a part of it, they won’t contribute to it. Having a clear Vision/Mission, when used correctly, is a powerful mechanism to align and engage people. Once in place, you can outline what individuals need to do and become to excel in your business and industry.
People want to succeed. If employees are challenged and as a result improve, they will remain engaged. If however they have no idea how to win, they may not bother trying.
If your company is similar to most, your leadership team may need to reprioritise where they focus their efforts. Focusing on the above is a critical first step in moving your company forward. Next month we will explore ways to improve Performance Standards throughout your business.
If you would like to know more about how we can help you develop a better internally-focused Strategic Plan, refer to our Strategic Performance Template on our website or call us.
As a top level coach for the past 20 years I have not worked with anyone, sports psychologist or other, who has had the effect on athletes that Craig has had.
Craig Steel’s work is an essential point of difference to how our company does business.
Craig.s performance improvement programmes have been of immense value for our people whom we recognise as the ultimate foundation and drivers of our business.
Craig Steel’s performance improvement programmes are profound as they address the very essence of human performance
Succeeding at the highest level in sport requires more than just physical ability; athletes have to be equally as strong mentally. Craig’s extraordinary insight and understanding of performance makes this process achievable.
Completing Craig Steel’s Strategic Performance Template enabled our partnership to identify and align around a unified strategy as well as providing a mechanism to successfully communicate and implement that strategy: this process has helped us generate a real change in focus as we move towards a high performance culture.
Thoroughly enjoyed it – an invaluable, and life changing experience.
Craig’s coaching ability and depth of understanding allowed us to achieve the ‘almost impossible’. A major culture change has occurred within our company.
Working with Craig has been outstandingly beneficial for myself and my business. Craig’s skills within sport are totally transferable to business where leadership, responsibility and focus are prime requirements
Unlike most management training programmes I have seen, Craig’s process deals with the real issues that inhibit performance.
The programme was fantastic. I take my hat off to our management team for putting us through it. I think it is the best thing they have ever done.
This is without question the best performance training programme I have ever encountered.
Craig’s impact on our business has been invaluable. Our sales are at an all time high and our profitability the best it has been in years. I highly recommend any organisation seriously committed to developing the performance of their people take the time to speak with Craig.
Improving the performance capability of our leaders has been a key strategic driver for us in recent years. Craig’s extraordinary process and obvious ability have proven such an effective combination, we have made it our primary leadership development tool.
Completing this programme has definitely given us a competitive edge. There is no doubt the programme will pay for itself over and over again as a result of the improvements we make. We certainly recommend it.
Craig challenged our perceptions of what is, or could, hold back our performance. The simplicity, relevance and empowerment of the tools he gave us exceeded our expectations.
We completed Craig Steel’s Strategic Performance Template under his guidance and achieved a fantastic outcome. The simplicity and clarity of his template enabled us to gain rapid alignment around a coherent strategy and goal set.
I consider myself extremely fortunate as an elite member of the national swimming team to have had access to someone of Craig Steel’s calibre while living and training in New Zealand.
Craig Steel is the best kept secret in New Zealand business.
Completing Craig Steel’s performance improvement programme has definitely lifted our performance. We have tripled our historical growth rate in the past year.
Craig’s understanding of performance is impressive. This understanding serves him extremely well as a performance advisor for myself and my leadership team
I used Craig’s performance improvement process in order to further myself as an international athlete. During that time his principles enabled me to improve my mental attitude (and understanding) tremendously, while my results improved dramatically.
Craig Steel’s programmes are not for the faint hearted. They are not designed to help enthusiastic amateurs improve. These are world-class programmes designed for companies who are serious about performance become true international champions.
The potential for Craig Steel’s process to improve an organisations performance is staggering.
This is without question the best leadership course I have ever come across.
Having Craig engaged in our business has been transformational – not just for my team and business performance, but in delivering the kind of capability shift in individuals that is fundamental in today’s increasingly competitive environment. His insights and tools offer profound opportunity for change.
Over the past 8 years in real estate, I have made a conscious decision to attend as much training as possible. The two day compact programme I attended with Craig Steel was by far the best training course I have ever experienced. If you want to progress with a career in sales, attend this programme.
You have created a product others in the leadership training and development arena either can’t or won’t attempt to enter … immensely valuable.
Craig’s programme is brilliant and offers an incredible insight into the secrets of human performance.
Pro-Sport is the most logical and powerful mental training programme I have ever seen. The impact it has had on my top students is dramatic. I highly recommend coaches use Craig’s programme to prepare their elite athletes for competition.
Completing this programme will make a permanent change to the way I perform.
The two day Sales Manager programme we completed with Craig Steel was in my opinion (after twenty two years in real estate), the most thought provoking and inspiring I have attended. The wisdom, knowledge and ‘know-how’ is something that will affect all facets of my life. If you have a desire to succeed in sales, this programme is a must.
Craig’s process has given me an exceptional set of tools that enable me to deliver on my potential. The impact these tools have had on my performance is phenomenal
Working with Craig on an on-going basis provides me with the additional performance tools necessary to succeed.
The potential for Craig Steel’s work in the business world is enormous
The result we achieved from the two day strategic planning process Craig Steel ran for our Executive team was remarkable.
Craig’s process has shown us how to think differently. The performance results we have achieved are both impressive and permanent.
Craig Steel is by far the most thought provoking presenter I have ever listened to. When he speaks his words resonate a depth of understanding that is instantly recognised. He not only provides the wisdom but gives you the ‘how’. Craig has a presence and knowing that is rare. His message was both inspiring and exciting in its simplicity and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to excel.
Even though we have a lot of talented people here, Craig has helped us to be better than we would otherwise. People are a lot closer to the business, a lot more focused. We’ve had more than tenfold worth of benefit out of him.
Craig Steel’s Strategic Performance Template is an extremely effective process while simultaneously being very straightforward to execute. It has provided us with an efficient way to connect the dots between our long term strategic vision and our short term goals, thus allowing us to clearly communicate our priorities and motivations to our team.
Exceptional – every motivated business leader should do it.
Craig’s programme was immensely valuable and will return us significant long term benefits.
Of all the training tools I have ever used, Pro-Sport has had the biggest impact on my performance by far. I consider Craig to have been a key factor in my success this season.
Since completing Craig’s programme four months ago we have achieved the best sales results in our ten-year history. We exceeded our quarterly sales target by 407% and improved our nationwide standing from tenth position to first
Working with Craig was an instrumental factor in my return to form.