As a leader-manager, consultant-coach, and author whose works and services have been used by thousands of other leaders and managers, many years ago it become obvious to me how valuable it would be to provide them with practical, useable guidance about the high impact practices required for their own, others, and their organization’s success. Blessed with the collaboration and brilliance of my co-author, Dr. Drea Zigarmi, fourteen such ‘best’ practices have been identified. We further discuss these in our book, THE LEADER WITHIN, and how to put them into personal action in our program, THE LEADERSHIP BRIDGE: Situational Leadership II® & DISC, that identifies which are common strengths and which need to be developed based on 16 personal style performance patterns.
For now, a few key points can be most helpful to the reader. First, hardly anyone is likely to be characterized by all 14 of these practices. Based on that reality we can see that each of us has our own continuing leadership and management development growth opportunities. And, that in the short-run, effective teammates (whether peers, direct reports, or others) can help us with our short-suit practices.
It is also very valuable to know that these best practices are vital at all levels of management and leadership for any organization, regardless of size, industry, or culture. Their common focus is high performance, a universal requirement for the sustained success of any organization, private or public. In this regard, we have found these 14 ‘best’ practices essential for sustained success in all four areas of our Life Associates business model—culture, strategy, processes, and people performance.
We describe and make practical use of these ‘best’ practices’ in our work using Situational Leadership II® in training and coaching managers and leaders. In more favorable situations, 7 Supportive practices contribute to effective individual, group/team, and organizational performance. These include such supportive practices as listening, praising, seeking input, team building, and problem-solving.
And, in less favorable situations, 7 different Directive practices are essential to shaping successful performance. When effectively executed, these include setting goals (clear expected results), prioritizing, planning work in advance, clarifying roles, and methods for monitoring and managing performance/ progress.
Once again, it is essential to realize that no individual is likely to naturally exhibit all of these, especially in less favorable situations. In fact, my colleague Dr. Zigarmi has completed research that has shown that while virtually all of the supportive practices are positively correlated with Emotional Intelligence, none of the Effective Leader-Manager Directive Practices are correlated with it! The implications are significant, given the fact that unfavorable business conditions and situations like those being increasingly faced by leaders and managers in the current and future environment will require both of these types of effective practices for sustained personal and organizational success.
If you would like further information about the above resources, you can contact me at my website address noted below.
Dr. Michael O’Connor is a recognized thought leader, executive coach and founder of Life Associates & The Center For Managing By Values. Michael is the co-author of “The Leadership Bridge Program (Situational Leadership II® & DISC)” several books, “The Leader Within,” “Managing By Values,” “People Smart,” and more. For additional information visit www.centerformbv.com.