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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Leadership Study Focuses on People-Led Economy

The demands of our new economy and opportunities to succeed will be much greater for business leaders who understand and foster a "people-led approach" in their organisations, according to a new study by the Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement.

The study, 'Leadership and the Performance of People in Organizations: Enriching Employees and Connecting People', points out that today's leaders must take into account the erosion of trust in management over the last few years and the changes in a workforce that is using technology to form personal connections both beyond - and within - the workplace.

"These enhanced connections should result in what the study's researchers call a 'constituent-based approach to leadership,'" says Michelle M. Smith, Forum president. "This approach successfully balances the needs of employees, consumers, shareholders and the community at large and ensures that their needs are met in an authentic and transparent manner."

Practicing a people-centred management and leadership style can pay off handsomely. According to the Forum study, companies practicing this approach have seen positive bottom line results in which value emerges for every constituent. They refer to this as the Human Value Connection.

The Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement (http://www.performanceforum.org/ ) is a research center within the Medill Integrated Marketing Communications graduate program at Northwestern University. A central objective of the Forum is to develop and disseminate knowledge about communications, motivation and management so that businesses can better design, implement and manage Employee Engagement initiatives inside and outside the organisation.

5 Ways to Manage Like a CEO

1.Focus on critical, trouble areas and leave everything else alone. Successful CEOs have learned to rapidly determine when a direct report or functional area is in trouble. Then, with laser-like precision, they go to work on determining what’s wrong and resolving the issue with all due haste. Because of the focus required, too many problem areas can spell trouble, which leads us to the next point.

2.Hire functional experts who are also solid, upcoming managers. The order and choice of words is critical here. You can mentor capable, upcoming managers, but you probably can’t teach them a functional expertise, nor should you or will you have the time. If they’re not eminently capable, you can end up with multiple critical simultaneous problems, which could be job or even career-ending.

3.Business comes first. Business and customers always, always, always come first. Now, that doesn’t mean you let morale get out of control or internal processes fall apart, but you must recognise that the primary function of the business is business, and that means customers and sales. Any manager who doesn’t get that is doomed to mediocrity and stagnation.

4.Manage up. A critical function of any manager is to provide his boss with what she needs to succeed, and in a manner that fosters a compatible and mutually beneficial relationship. And frankly, that goes for peers, too. If you sense your boss and peers are not getting what they need from you, meet one-on-one and ask. Successful CEOs work with their boards and other key stakeholders the same way.

5.Help to “manage the company.” This is a critical mindset that can make all the difference in your career. If you have a strong silo mentality - my group is all that matters - you will never move up. But if you always remember that one of your priorities is to help “manage the company,” then your chances are great increased. Why? That mindset gives you a broader perspective that will indeed help the company and be positively perceived by peers and executive management.