10 Discussions for Effective Leadership 10 Ways to Exceed Your By R. Perras M. Bellefeuille B. Lindia
INTRODUCTIONThis is the second book from the lead author, Raymond Perras. Teaming up with two leadership coaching clients (Marcel Bellefeuille from the world of professional sports, and Bruno Lindia, a CEO and business owner), Raymond has developed a unique and groundbreaking effort to bring forward some issues that do not often get dealt with in a leadership book. Based on the concept of Peak Performance (the right stuff, in the right amount, at the right time(TM)), this work provides a leader with insight into how to maximize results while reducing stress. It is not meant to confirm what a leader already knows but rather to serve as a basis to “contemplate” how a person who leads a team can help create an atmosphere that enables people to exceed expectations on a routine basis.Tapping their experiences in leading and coaching leaders, the authors have shared insights into some of the less glamorous aspects of leadership. The goal is to raise a leader’s awareness to the fact that the team results can be improved when attention is paid to specific aspects of leadership in order to increase effectiveness. The implementation of a thinking process that ensures a continuous effort to seek peak performance ultimately enables everyone to exceed expectations.The book provides insight into the state of leadership, highlighting the results of research done in 2011 by Development Dimensions International, to guide the reader’s focus toward some leadership traps that can torpedo the best efforts to be an effective leader. In a “three distinct statement” approach, the 10 chapters each address one of the activities or issues that the authors have identified as mission-critical for a leader based on their professional experience.Through a prioritized list from a brainstorm exercise on usual traps that can create a barrier to leadership success, the authors selected 10 activities that may make or break a leader on the journey to leadership excellence. The 10 activities are not in order of priority, only proposed as cautionary subjects for the leader who seeks to be effective in leading a team. The 10 activities are discussed by each of the authors on the basis of their work experience and are listed as follows in the Table of Content:1 – The Right Stuff in the Right Amount at the Right Time: in an effort to minimize waste and maximize result, the leader is encouraged to make judicious choices in order to have sufficient resources to address the priority issues.2 – The Myth of Empowerment: reflections are shared on how this term is used extensively but often is not reflected in the actual leadership activities. People are said to be empowered but the end result is responsibility without authority – delegation is not true delegation. 3 – Trust and The Boomerang Theory: this critical quality of a leader is discussed to bring awareness to the fact that a person cannot expect trust if he or she does not trust first. In the end, results are greatly reduced when trust is not in the mix.4 Telling The Truth: the discussion centres on the common difficulty for a leader to tell it like it is. In a place where trust is lacking, stories are usually made up to cover or twist the truth with a negative impact on the team.5 – Optimize Results with Joint Planning: too often, projects do not bring the desired end results and expectations are not fulfilled because information is held back or key people are not involved at the planning stage. Taking the time to listen and involve people usually will optimize results.6 – Clarity of Vision Leads to Success: the point is that when a leader is not clear on the shape and form of a successful outcome, it is very difficult to provide guidance and leadership in an effective way. A clear vision takes time to formulate and a leader will do well to define his vision and share it with the team. Here we are talking about a vision of HOW we will work as a team. A project’s outcome is usually quite clearly defined by the deliverables as opposed to the nebulous interactive approach that lead to achievement.7 – Leading by Example: the concept of generative leadership is proposed in this chapter to encourage a leader to think of being a model and grow leadership throughout his team. Leadership can be exercised by anyone, but if the leader does not model the actions, words will hardly make a difference. 8 – Asking Good Questions: many leaders end up trying to be heroes when they forget about asking questions. Creative and execution power resides in the collective intelligence of the team. Asking good questions brings all those resources to the table and facilitates the successful achievement of any desired result.9 – Think Like a Champion: it’s a matter of making everyone’s effort count. People respond to the leader’s expectations. When the leader’s behaviour models the approach that creates a championship mentality, everyone raises their intensity and drive to accomplish and fulfill their roles and responsibilities. It will not be a championship every time out, but the likelihood will be greatly increased.10 – Alone at the Top: there is a reality that seldom dawns on a leader until he or she is at the head of a team. Being a leader can be a lonely spot when demands for guidance, confidentiality, decisions affecting the team, personnel selection and assignment, and a myriad of other issues devolving to the leader require attention. A leader must prepare and plan that moment and have a strategy to deal with being “alone at the top”.The format of the book follows a systematic approach:- The lead author, as leadership trainer and coach provides an overview of each element of leadership discussed and points the reader to certain aspects that often are forgotten. – The professional sports coach injects his perspective as the activities apply in a professional sports context and the particularities associated with the speed of execution and the tremendous pressure exerted by the necessity to build a winner immediately. – The CEO shares his views through the business lens, raising the importance of certain aspects of the business context which seem insignificant but end up having a massive impact on the bottom line.In simple terms, the book aims to raise a leader’s awareness of some of the inherent pitfalls of leadership actions that often get overlooked for the sake of expediency or omission due to lack of focus on the important aspects of team cohesion and maximum capability. Competency and system capability must be integrated if expectations of complete success are to be fulfilled.Following the concept of peak performance (the right stuff, in the right amount, at the right time(TM)). this book does not pretend to revolutionize the field of leadership. Rather, it aims at helping and supporting those who seek to be effective leaders by identifying and discussing ways to minimize the impact of actions that may end up as barriers to performance. The goal is to help the reader contemplate how these discussions can be integrated into the daily routine to increase results while reducing the required effort to produce them.As authors, we believe that paying attention to these 10 discussions can bring continuous improvement to the process of effective leadership, and allow a leader to exceed expectations placed on him or her by the senior management.