How is it possible some of our most deplorable commercial acts in living memory have resulted in catastrophic losses for investors but in many instances, personal fortunes for the perpetrators? What has caused us as a society to be hoodwinked by self-serving fraudsters over the willingness of more competent parties?
During the past two years we have seen an inordinate amount of evidence to suggest the time has come when commercial entities the world over need to re-examine the purpose of leadership if they are serious about driving a step change in their performance.
The global economic crisis, coupled with untold stories of questionable, and in some instances, disgraceful practise by executives, has compounded the need for the commercial sector to take a good hard look at how it views (and rewards) leadership performance - because if the results of recent years are anything to go by, the model we have endorsed for decades has finally failed.
During this time we have borne witness to too many companies misinterpreting ambition and self-promotion as indicators of competence and capability. Whilst confident leaders are essential in driving performance, wisdom and maturity are equally vital to ensure an organisation’s long term prosperity. Sadly there is little doubt our future generations will now not only have to deal with climate change and an ageing population, they will have to pay for the extraordinary loss of value caused by self-indulging leaders.
As a modern and supposedly sophisticated society I believe we need to not only re-examine the purpose of leadership, but how we recognise and reward our leaders i.e. further to our interest in replacing those who demonstrated blatant disregard for those they were entrusted to serve, let’s not overlook the fact that it is infinitely more important to agree on a model that will inspire a new generation of talented individuals to take the lead - for if there is one thing the economic fall-out has taught us, it is the fact that we are dangerously short of intelligent and visionary leaders.
To further this debate, I wonder if we couldn’t eliminate the seemingly regular occurrence of ineptitude and greed by the advent of a new leadership framework (criteria) and an incentive model to match. In other words, could we create a new breed of leader who understands the meaning of value and works tirelessly to create it?
Could we reward them for a change in approach to ensure they as individuals benefit as and when we all do? Could we change the landscape regarding leadership mind-set and thus their priorities to ensure they leave the organisations they represent in better shape than they found it? In essence, the question I believe we need to ask is ‘could we enable our future leaders to do the right thing?’ - for it is only by initiating a change in the performance of those on whom we rely to improve our economic wealth that we will be in a position to improve the nation’s social status and wellbeing.
To advance from where we are I believe we need to change the rules of the game to ensure all future leaders understand their role and are encouraged to succeed rather than perceiving the invitation to lead as recognition of past efforts and thus a license to occupy or exploit.
In my opinion, successful leaders of the future will be those who understand the purpose of leadership and thereby focus their attention on what I refer to as the ''Principal Responsibilities of Leadership''.
The Principal Responsibilities of Leadership
• Creating a Strategic Vision
• Setting Performance Standards
• Improving Performance Capability
• Building a High Performance Culture
If a company is to realise its potential, its managers need to invest their time driving initiatives that will deliver growth and improvement. The days of rewarding people for the job they are paid to do are surely over i.e. hitting the numbers shouldn’t justify an exorbitant bonus (providing of course the targets are appropriate and considered), nor should meeting budget be considered an over achievement. Rather it is the value of one’s contribution to increasing the organisation’s capacity to perform that should qualify or determine one’s ability to participate in such a scheme. After all, a bonus in its purest form is designed to 1) recognize value (contribution) ‘over and above’ what was expected and 2) encourage ‘more of the same’ i.e. promote more highly ‘appropriate’ actions and behaviours to drive further growth and/or improvement.
It is important not to misinterpret the above as a suggested replacement to ‘at risk’ portions of salary. Any company committed to becoming a high performing organisation should, in my opinion, link at least a portion of staff salaries (wherever possible) to its performance and profitability. It is only by sharing the benefits and/or shouldering the burden of losses that a group of people will ever learn to unite and align, and thus take responsibility for its actions.
If you are serious about building a high performing executive or management team and would like to know more about our unique leadership framework, please refer to our white paper ‘The Principal Responsibilities of Leadership’ located under the resources section on our website www.craigsteel.co.nz or call us for further information
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The potential for Craig Steel's work in the business world is enormous
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.
The potential for Craig Steel's process to improve an organisations performance is staggering.
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'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.
This is without question the best leadership course I have ever come across.
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.
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.
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's programme is brilliant and offers an incredible insight into the secrets of human performance.
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.
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 Craig Steel's performance improvement programme has definitely lifted our performance. We have tripled our historical growth rate in the past year.
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.
Unlike most management training programmes I have seen, Craig's process deals with the real issues that inhibit performance.
Completing this programme will make a permanent change to the way I perform.
Craig's understanding of performance is impressive. This understanding serves him extremely well as a performance advisor for myself and my leadership team
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.
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
Exceptional - every motivated business leader should do it.
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.
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.
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
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.
Working with Craig on an on-going basis provides me with the additional performance tools necessary to succeed.
Craig's programme was immensely valuable and will return us significant long term benefits.
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.
Craig Steel's performance improvement programmes are profound as they address the very essence of human performance
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 work is an essential point of difference to how our company does business.
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.
Thoroughly enjoyed it - an invaluable, and life changing experience.
Craig Steel is the best kept secret in New Zealand business.
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.
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 coaching ability and depth of understanding allowed us to achieve the 'almost impossible'. A major culture change has occurred within our company.
This is without question the best performance training programme I have ever encountered.