An effective operating system is rooted in six key practice areas. These essential mindsets or paradigms will enable leaders to thrive. Contrasted with the common practices of the past by setting them off in bold, these six highly effective practices compose the jobs you as a leader must do now.
- Create and post mission statement in all public areas. (Find and articulate the voice of the organization, and connect and align accordingly, a.k.a. “Lead with purpose.”)
- Develop a great strategy. (Execute your strategy with excellence.)
- Do more with less. (Unleash and engage people to do infinitely more than you imagined they could.)
- Become the provider/employer of choice in your industry. (Be the most trusted provider/employer in your industry.)
- “Create value” for customers. (Help customers succeed by creating value.)
- Satisfy customers. (Create intense loyalty with customers.)
Why these six practices in particular? Each is based on fundamental principles that never change. The principles of proactivity, execution, productivity, and trust underlie every great achievement: nothing of lasting worth has ever been accomplished in human history without them. People who live by the opposite values — reactivity, aimless activity, waste, mistrust — contribute little to the success of the organization.
The principles of mutual benefit and loyalty also underlie every successful relationship. People who live by the opposite values — indifference to others and disloyalty, for example — create no goodwill and work against the good of the organization. The common ways of thinking are often reactive and counterproductive; instead, we need this new model.
Consider: What kind of leader would you be if…
- No one but you felt a sense of responsibility for results?
- You didn’t understand your own unique competitive advantage — the combined power of your team?
- You failed to execute some of your most important goals?
- You didn’t fully leverage the genius, talent, and skill of your team?
- There was a lack of trust in you, between teammates, or in the organization?
- Your customers had no clear idea of the unique value you bring to them?
- There was little loyalty on your team to you, each other, or the organization?
You can see for yourself why these paradigm shifts and new practices are vital. You can come up with many other success factors, but these six are inviolable. Leaders must be able to:
- Find and articulate the “voice” of the organization.
- Execute with excellence.
- Unleash the productivity of people.
- Inspire trust.
- Help their customers succeed.
- Engender loyalty in all stakeholders.
These paradigm shifts and related practices are absolutely fundamental to success now. Each requires changing people’s hearts and minds in fundamental ways, and changing behavior is about the hardest challenge anyone ever faces (if you don’t think so, just consider how hard it is for you to change your behavior). It’s a great challenge, but the shift must be made if you want to lead your people to success.
A Culture Of Leadership
The secret to building a winning culture is to replace unproductive paradigms with inspirational new paradigms and corresponding practices that will unleash extraordinarily productive behavior. That’s the job that you must do now.
This job, while challenging, can be done, and the results are dramatic.