What 25 Years of working with the best—and less than best—has taught me about the leaders that actually make a difference.
A High Impact Leader is able to inspire and provide direction to a group of individuals such that they collectively achieve outstanding performance. High Impact Leaders set bold visions, confound skeptics, attract prodigious talent, build up others and the organisations they lead overcome ‘impossible’ challenges and have a positive impact on society. They ‘make a ding in the universe’ as Steve Jobs famously commented. Industrial Revolution 4.0 will place a spotlight on the achievements of these leaders and the weakness of others as the speed and magnitude of value creation and destruction increases and transparency and interconnectivity abound.
Over the past 25 years of working with leaders, the ‘good’ and ‘not-so-good’, from corporations, NGO and religious organisations I have often reflected on what I think separates High Impact Leaders from others; over this and the next few postings I will share with you these musings, looking through the lens to see what skills, characteristics and practices will be increasingly important in the unfolding future. Do please let me know your thoughts and builds!
High Impact Leaders strive for prowess in four areas, they are:
Some leaders focus on developing from Inside-Out, first anchoring their leadership model on their Authentic Core, being able to answer the question posed by Goffee & Jones "Why should anyone be led by you?" They inspire trust and consistently display and adhere to a high level of personal integrity which they insist is mirrored by the organization. Other leaders develop more from the Outside-In, firstly mastering skills such as Execution Prowess, being a Catalyst able to extend the performance of the organization or being expert as a Strategist, setting the direction and establishing meaning and purpose for the organization. It is the combination of both ‘Inside – Out’ and ‘Outside – In’ that distinguishes High Impact Leaders; prowess in all four areas that are relevant and applied to the context in which the leader is active. An example of a globally recognised personality that I consider to be a High Impact Leader I would highlight Sir Richard Branson.
Most individuals I have worked with are not yet High Impact Leaders, they do not yet have mastery in all the four areas. For them and for those of us who are dedicated to supporting the development of leaders, the High Impact Leaders model provides a framework and guidance for accelerating development. Through the four ‘lenses’ we identify areas requiring strengthening and opportunities to put the skills into practice. The goal being to accelerate the development of leaders whilst accelerating the performance of the teams and organisations that they lead. High Impact Leaders – have impact! Leadership skills are only of value if they are applied; the best measure of the prowess of an individual leader is the difference in performance that the leader creates for the organization.
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A business consultant and educator; focusing on global and regional firms operating in multiple fast changing contexts. Dr. Steve has consulted with major corporations on strategies and operations globally, Asia, Western Europe and UK. Dr. Steve is also an accomplished executive trainer and educator, with particular depth of experience in business strategy and management practice in Asia.