Do you have the ability to see ability in others?
As a highly effective leader it is very important “who” you focus your time, and energy on the most within your team. It is common for a manager to focus most of their time, and energy on the team members are who are not performing the best.
However, you are striving to become a highly effective leader. So, you should know that they focus most of their time on the team members who are performing the best. They do this so they are not reacting to poor performance. They are taking action on good performance.
Low performing leaders focus on the team members who are either, not doing what they are told, doing what they want to, or are not getting the job done. The reason they focus on these team members is because it makes them feel that they are in control.
When doing this, it is an opportunity for them to flex their muscles and use their position of power. Low performing leaders like the feeling of being in charge.
For them there is no better way to show their leaders that they are taking charge, by focussing on their poor performers. It is most likely what their leaders want them to do too.
1. Who Are Your Best Performers?
To be a highly effective leader, you must do the exact opposite. If you want to influence your team, you must first focus on the team members with the most influence. They are the team members who are your best performers.
The more influence you have with the best performers, then the more influence you will have with the rest of the team. Your influence will increase as their influence increases.
When their influence increases, it will help the team members who are not performing so well to raise their game.
When I started my leadership career and I was leading teams, my mentor Ron told me to do the following:
- Spend 80% of your time focussing on the best performers
- Spend 15% of your time focussing on the “middle of the road” performers
- Spend 5% of your time focussing on the poor performers
The reason he told me that is because, he too believed that by focussing on the best performers my influence would increase throughout the team.
In any industry in the world, most managers of people will do the exact opposite. They will spend 80% of their time on the poor performers, 15% of their time on the “middle of the road” performers and 5% of their time on the best performers.
The poor performers do not perform well because they don’t want to perform well. They probably hate their jobs, and don’t want to be there if they are being honest with themselves.
So, why would you waste your time, and energy focussing on people who do not have the will to improve?
2. Invest Your Time, Don’t Waste Your Time
If you invest your time on your team rather than waste your time on your team, you will start to see just how much more productive you and they will become.
Leadership is influence, as you well know. It is not about having a position of power or job title. So, increase your influence with your team, by investing your time on your best performers.
When you do this you will have a much better chance of your influence increasing. You will see a return on your investment (ROI), and you will see this because your best performer’s influence will increase.
They are hungry to keep improving, and they will be happy to help other members of the team improve. This will in turn help you. You will start to see an improvement on results, and performance.
The best performers in the team are with the team a lot more than you probably are. You have to attend meetings and go to different sites in the organisation to see different leaders. So, your time with the team can be quite limited.
However, as your best performers are with the rest of the team daily, they will increase your influence for you. As they increase their own influence by helping the other members of the team, your influence will multiply.
Their relationships will grow, as will yours because they will be following your lead, and your example.
When you invest your time and energy into your best performers, you will build a stronger relationship, and build more trust. You and your best performers will grow together, develop together and connect further.
Then, when your best performers invest their time with other members of the team, your influence will multiply. The whole team will be building stronger relationships, growing, developing and connecting further too. They will be doing this in your image by following your example.
3. How To Multiply Your Influence
Every team has a leader; you (the boss). They also have a second leader; (your best performer). Your best performer will increase your influence by increasing theirs with their own followers.
You are indirectly leading followers, when you directly lead leaders.
As you go through this post and my other posts, I am directly leading and influencing you. Then as you apply the leadership principles you are learning, and your own influence increases.
I am indirectly leading, and influencing your team and any other people who you influence. Can you see how it works? I know this because you are still reading, and you want to become a better leader. You are striving to become a highly effective leader in fact.
You want to become a secure leader and increase your influence with your team. All the low performing leaders probably stopped reading this post and my other posts a good while ago. But not you.
I have the same idea for all the posts I write on leadership. I want to directly influence the reader through teaching them the principles. Then when they have finished the learning and have applied it, I want to indirectly influence their teams, family and friends.
The team, family and friends will also have high influence and followers, so I will indirectly influence them too. It becomes a snowball effect, and your influence can keep multiplying and multiplying.
Leadership is not about you, but it does start with you. As you start influencing and teaching people what you know, they will do the same with others, and they will then do the same.
4. The Big Leadership Picture
If we look at the big picture, we start by influencing our team, then at home, then our community, then our city, then our country, then the world. We can have that kind of impact and make that big of a difference.
If you want you and your team to become noticed within your organisation, then you must focus on your leaders. When your leaders improve, you will improve, your team will improve, and the organisation will improve.
Your leaders will become stars, your other team members will strive to become stars, and you will become a star leader. Would you like to be a star leader in your organisation? It sure does help when you are climbing that leadership ladder.
Your team members will have a much better chance of getting promoted, or getting a pay rise. You will most certainly have a good chance of being promoted and getting a pay rise.
You and the team will become the “go to” team for when the organisation needs things to happen. They will know that you will achieve great results, which again will get noticed by the organisation.
If a low performing leader achieves great results because he/she are able to manipulate and control their team, then their influence will actually decrease. It will decrease with their own team, and with other teams in the organisation.
The only people who will be happy with their results are their own line manager and leaders. They will probably not care how they achieved the results, just the fact that they achieved them. That is all they will be concerned with.
A highly effective leader has integrity, and will care about the team first. They care about the team’s character, and then will think about the results last. They have a positive influence on their team, and with others.
As your positive influence grows with your team, they will constantly want more from you, especially the best performers. So, give them what they crave, YOUR INFLUENCE. As you do that, they will continue to grow, and become hungrier. You too will also continue to grow, and you will become hungrier to feed your team.
Every team has a leader. Every team has a second leader. Every team has a third leader. So, focus on those leaders and increase your influence with them. Teach them how to increase their influence, and your influence will multiply.
I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.
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All the best,