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ELEVATING CEO EFFECTIVENESS

Get Your People Ready, Willing and Able to Go-All-In.

Execution excellence is the critical measure for a high performing CEO. Teams who are ready, willing and able to execute with vigour are most valued by seasoned CEO's, and yet not many CEO's have a measure in place to gauge the effectiveness of their work beyond the bottom line and project plan updates, which does not show the realisation of their teams potential, and as such many CEO's are being blindsided and not being as effective as they can be. The 2020 Populis Leadership Framework™️ effectiveness study conducted in collaboration with Macquarie University Graduate program included Populis' Leadership Framework™️ self-assessment interviews with over 50 Australian company leaders. This study found that on an average Australian companies are operating at less than 74% of their potential.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast is a great sound bite, which has had many leaders think deeply and invest just as deeply in an attempt at establishing a winning culture. Management guru Peter Drucker once said that "No matter how well thought out your competitive strategy is, if the people in your organisation aren’t ready, able and willing to put it into action, it’s worthless."

So as an effective CEO you must be asking the question just how ready, able and willing are your people to actualise the vision of the organisation? Do you have measures in place to gauge the readiness, ability and will of your people to execute on the strategies you and your leadership team have developed?

 

United States General George S. Patton once declared that “a good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week".

Such confidence in leadership as General Patton is rare, however can be found in organisations where there is great self-awareness, accountability and a track record of success that comes from one's ability to innovate and execute with pace and win. Easier said than done, especially in established, comfortable, risk averse organisations and where group think in prevalent and innovation is not prominent. Every CEO should now be asking which of these two types of company culture are they responsible for? 

TRIGGERS TO IMMEDIATELY CONDUCT A LEADERSHIP EFFECTIVENESS SELF-ASSESSMENT:

  1. Overwhelming or underwhelming performance or the organisation is in need of efficiencies to meet its potential

  2. Aggressive growth targets; and Boards and senior leadership wanting to gauge organisational readiness to perform

  3. A need to increase organisational governance

  4. New CEO, Leadership team or mergers and acquisitions

  5. Poor staff engagement or leadership alignment needed

WHAT DOES A CEO EFFECTIVENESS SELF-ASSESSMENT FOCUS ON? 

At Populis, we utilise our validated award-winning Leadership Framework™️ which takes leaders through 50 critical areas for great performance and governance under the following 5 categories:

  1. Leadership principles that optimise strategy formation for ethical growth through the actualisation of the company vision;
  2. Leadership principles that enhance an organisational culture which empowers ethical high performance through innovation, accountability and action;
  3. Leadership principles which enable efficiencies through excellence in business processes;
  4. Leadership principles that attract top talent, maximise staff engagement and loyalty; empower people to be their best, find purpose and happiness in their work;
  5. Leadership which serves the organisations vision, its customers and community ahead of selfish gains and for innovation to come from anyone in the company.

9 LEADERSHIP EFFECTIVENESS TIPS

9 leadership tips to developing an ethically high-performing culture where people turn up as their best - ready, able and willing to go all in to realise the organisations vision of success:

  1. Understand the impact of your leadership on your company's strategy, people, culture, processes and how they manage and lead. Conduct a leadership effectiveness deep dive diagnostic. Involve your key stakeholders in the diagnostic process in a manner where they feel like they are able to honestly share without repercussions on specific areas of your organisation and leadership. And openly feed the findings back to your team. In a recent Leadership Framework™️ diagnostic, the CEO invited her extended team including the Board to go through the the Leadership Framework™️ self-assessment. The process delivered insights which opened her eyes to a world of opportunities for improvement and growth.
  2. Build a clear map that connects every team, role and key performance indicators to the organisations mission and objectives.
  3. Make it clear what the organisation and leadership stands for is ethical and assures that you and your leadership team are virtuous, in that you do the right thing by your community and people ahead of profits and self interest.
  4. Organise innovation sprints involving a wide variety of your people and customers as the next big idea may come from someone outside your direct reports.
  5. Empower your people to be the best at what they do by providing them with all available knowledge on products, customers and competitors and train them with self-leadership skills so they turn up as their best everyday, as studies show that happier people are more innovative, engaged and produce better results.
  6. Share the spoils of success and failure as a whole organisation.
  7. Gain ownership to the organisations objectives by all, from the Board of Directors to the front line staff. Make everyone accountable by measuring and regularly reporting against targets, activity and other performance indicators. Hold yourself and those at the top most responsible.
  8. Leadership to set expectations through exemplification.
  9. Always remember that the customer is who enables your organisation to exist and concern your efforts on staying one step ahead in your service levels and product offerings.

Developing a winning team and organisational culture is something that cannot be delegated, it needs the CEO to exemplify what is expected and it will not happen in organisations where the CEO and the Board are not willing to go-all-in themselves. Great governance is just as important as great performance and no matter what, the CEO owns both.

In conclusion the CEO must be the one to initiate the process for a deep dive on the impact of their leadership on the organisation and invite an open and detailed diagnostic from all levels of their organisation to gauge the true impact of their leadership so they can make the necessary adjustments before it is forced on them.

Rohilesh R. Singh, GAICD, Order of Merit specialises in helping CEO's build high performing organisations. Roh is CEO of Populis, a management consulting firm based in Sydney Australia.

Roh can be contacted on +614 0404 9613 or [email protected]

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