6 ways to build a strong leadership and a successful business culture - ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT
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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

6 ways to build a strong leadership and a successful business culture

6 ways to build a strong leadership and a successful business culture
Image Source: ft.com
Based on scientific studies and own experiences over many years from building, merging and leading high-performance- and development-oriented organizations
Here are my 6 recommendations to enhance your leadership and build a strong performance and development culture:
  • Put employees experienced leadership in focus for leadership development
  • Personality
  • Coaching: Become a great coach – helping others to learn and grow
  • Motivation: Optimize individual motivation
  • Be a role model for sharing experiences and feedback
  • Group dynamics and effectiveness in changing environments

1. Put employees experienced leadership in focus for leadership development

Dr. Jim Laub, a professor at the MacArthur School of Leadership, has conducted leadership studies aimed at identifying the qualities that most effectively lead to successful corporate cultures. The characteristics of successful leadership Jim Laub identified in his studies were:

  • You show authenticity 
  • You appreciate others 
  • You develop people 
  • You show leadership 
  • You share leadership 
  • You build affiliation


Recommendations 
Map how employees experience your leadership and business cultures :
1-How does your leadership match or deviate from the qualities characteristic to successful cultures?
2-Your strengths and matches: Be proud and use your strengths to the fullest Set goals, prioritize and conduct actions to develop make your leadership even more efficient and successful.

2. Personality 

Build insight and awareness of how your personality affects your achievements – what are your potential strengths, risks, and effectiveness as a leader? 
Along with your expertise and motivation, your personality affects your behavior, your connection to others, how you solve tasks and meet changes, challenges and how you influence others. Insight about your own personality helps you to strengthen the efficiency and influence as a leader:

  • Strategic and operational Leadership: How do you typically solve tasks and challenges within
    leadership on different levels? 
  • Teamwork: Which are the roles and tasks are you most likely to “go all in” – or to avoid? How do you complete and support a team’s efforts to achieve its goals? 
  • Sales and impact: How do you spend your time and dedication in situations where selling solutions and suggestions for decision is your target?
  • Risk of derailment when under pressure in new or changed roles: How can your personality poses risks of derailment, burnout or be career limiters when you are under pressure in new roles and situations

3. Coaching: Become a great coach – helping others to learn and grow 

Become effective and influential in how you coach and provide feedback to others. Communicate in a way that strengthens your colleague's achievements and improvements to make the most of their potential. 
Studies presented by Science at Work show that:
  • Internal coaching has the greater impact on employee achievements and results than coaching by external coaches 
  • Quality of coaching has a bigger influence on results than frequency and length of coaching
Recommendations: 
  • Become proficient in some basic models and "rules" for coaching and feedback 
  • Practice and develop with help of feedback and coaching from others

4. Motivation: Optimize individual motivation 

Keep track of which are your employees strongest motivators - and adapt your leadership to optimize their motivation to develop and perform their very best.


Studies show what motivates performance and development is individual. Even within a team, there may be significant differences in how our leadership influences individual motivations.

Only 17% of respondents in a Gallup survey answer that they are fully motivated. This means that 83% are likely to have a potential not fully utilized. 


Benefits from knowing individual motivators are:
  • Avoidance of motivators being counterforces to changes – instead you can create individual driving forces for change and development 
  • Reduced time and resources spent on efforts not leading to higher motivation 
  • Higher productivity and performance by utilizing the skills and capacity that actually exists in your organization
Recommendation: 
  • Do a mapping of individual motivators, build knowledge about how to stimulate the individual motivators – and adept leadership and working culture to optimize motivation

5. Be a role model in sharing experiences and feedback 

The best way to get others to open up, ask for feedback and share experiences to move best practice forward proactively - is to be a role model yourself. 
When we search for and share knowledge and feedback, we help each other to perform at a higher level — making the organization faster, more flexible and adapted to ongoing changes.
... but feedback can be difficult both to ask for, provide and to receive so someone need to go in front.
 The value of being a role model regarding sharing feedback and experiences is:

  • In a world where changes occur quickly, a "smooth" competence sharing in everyday life will provide the ability to effectively update each other with new "best practice" experiences 
  • Improved performances, more focused and targeted development of the individual 
  • Involvement and sharing build dedication and motivation in organization 
  • Less dependency on individuals
Recommendation: 
  • Ask honestly, listen openly without judgment, remember to thanks - and let the "giver" know what you will do with the feedback 
  • Share often with the purpose to make others better. Let information and knowledge be a common - not individual - "weapon" to success. 
  • Take use of new digital solutions, to share specific experiences, preparations, ideas and to ask for feedback in an efficient and engaging way without multiple e-mails or meetings. Read more.

6. Group dynamics and effectiveness in changing environments 

Strengthen employees ability to work efficiently together in groups: How they perform as a group and handle changes.

Studies show that the future will challenge us to work more in dynamic matrix or project organizations and less in traditional hierarchical ways. Efficient teamwork will be even more critical to success. 
Studies of group development provide us with insight into group dynamics. We can use this knowledge to prepare group members to maximize future team performance.

Benefits: 
  • Reduced time spent on conflict management
  • Higher independency of leader 
  • Better use of individual strengths to the benefit of team achievement and development
  • Less stress and lack of energy regarding constant changes 
  • A greater understanding of each other as team players
Recommendation: 
  • Provide all employees with knowledge about group development and build a culture which strengthens how the team handles conflicts, works independently and efficiently in a way that engages all and uses the potential of the team to the fullest.


About the author: Lars Vonheim, Leadership, sales & performance coach - Help companies, managers & talents to succeed, to develop & to reach their goals, his account on Linkedin

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