Continuing on with my topic of the week, on performance, let me discuss the various stages of becoming a high performer in this 2nd article (here is the 1st article if you haven’t already read it.)
As we become more specific about our goals and begin to acquire more knowledge and skills in developing others, our chances of success will greatly increase.
The more clear we are on what we want, the more power we will have to achieve it. We all have the means within us to free ourselves from the constraints of early negative conditioning. Attitude change is a result of internal understanding and acceptance.
Once you are able to begin the process of helping people develop positive and possibility attitudes, you create even more possibilities. It’s rather like knowledge and learning. Generally, the more you know and learn, the more you realize there is to learn. The more you focus on possibilities, the more possibilities seem to be possible. High expectation and positive attitudes lead to high performance. High performance leads to higher expectations. Individuals and teams go through four stages of development before they become high performers.
Stage 1: In the beginning, you may find that as people move into uncharted waters and begin to perform tasks and make decisions that are new, they will need a great deal of attention from you. Anytime there is a need for new knowledge or apprehension about the outcomes, people will require direction. Many will have to be shown how to perform a particular task. Others will need explanation, information, and instruction. Most will still look to you for decisions and priorities. Your behavior at this stage should be highly directive. You will need to provide knowledge and model behavior to help people learn, understand, and develop competence. This requires time and patience. That outcome, however, is more time for you because as they become competent, they are more willing to perform functions that once took your time.
Stage 2: As people become more competent in their roles and their attitudes are more positive, the need for highly directive supervision and instruction diminishes. Your role then becomes that of a coach. Coaches still provide direction, suggestions, and input, but begin to elicit more feedback, and decisions are frequently made jointly. As confidence and competence grow, people will begin to make suggestions and provide you with input and ideas. Your behavior needs to be supportive and focused on mutual goal setting, high recognition, and praise for accomplishments. This two-way process creates a tremendous opportunity to lead people to even higher levels of performance.
Stage 3: As people become more confident about their ability to perform their jobs successfully, you can empower them to make decisions that influence the outcomes. Delegate authority to solve problems and make improvements. Enhance personal responsibility and accountability. Create additional opportunities. Be highly supportive but less directive. People need to feel like they have control over those factors which affect their destiny. As they control more of their activities, you can spend less time managing people and processes and spend more time growing the company. Developing people has immense benefits for the future.
Stage 4: At this final stage, people want to do their jobs and they have developed the competence and confidence to know they can. They can be counted upon to make decisions, implement change, achieve their business goals, and positively impact the success of the organization. They will require very little supervision from you. Provide support, but refrain from over managing that which they know how to do. Instead, their greatest need will be your leadership. They will look to you to provide the direction, the values, and the behaviors that they can emulate to help build their divisions, departments, and people. They will seek new and better ways to do business.
Seek out potential leads in your organization. Create an environment, develop the personal skills, and nurture the innovation that can ensure your competitive advantage. Meeting the challenges that you will face tomorrow will require you to drive leadership qualities throughout your organization because it will require everyone to see beyond traditional methods and expected outcomes.
The future belongs to those who create it!
Dr Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Founder & President of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Dr Surya has over 28 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.