Today’s headlines are replete with words like “disruptor” and “reformer” in describing the behavior of high profile leaders.
But how does a leader prevent change from becoming chaos? Or reform from prompting revolt?
She needs to be a High Definition Leader (HD Leader) and surround herself with a top-flight team that also possesses HD Leader qualities and capabilities.
THE PAST AS PROLOGUE
I first discussed High Definition Leadership almost a decade ago when we were in the depths of the Great Recession. Back then most of my CEO and director clients faced unprecedented business and personnel challenges. Uncertainty and fear reigned amidst economic contraction and red ink.
I urged them to lead in “high definition” as a way of keeping their stakeholders engaged and focused during turbulent times.
10 QUALITIES OF HIGH DEFINITION LEADERS
What distinguishes a High Definition Leader? Here are what I believe to be essential attributes.
1. Focused: HD Leaders possess sharply defined goals, plans and priorities. They stay the course despite obstacles and setbacks.
2. Committed: HD Leaders believe passionately in their purpose. They are confident and know what they stand for.
3. Clear: HD Leaders are crystal-clear in their communications. They avoid ambiguous and gratuitous statements that “blur the picture” instead of clarifying it.
4. Compelling: HD Leaders are vivid, three-dimensional individuals who engage people at both the “head and heart” levels.
5. Trustworthy: HD Leaders build and promote positive, enduring relationships in their professional and personal lives. They are honest and insist on ethical conduct from themselves and others.
6. Authentic: HD Leaders are sincere, trustworthy and likable.
7. Consistent: HD Leaders behave in steady, predictable ways that build trust among key constituencies.
8. Agile: HD Leaders are nimble learners, innovators and adapters to change.
9. Self-Aware: HD Leaders have a realistic sense of their strengths, shortcomings and blind spots.
10. Accountable: HD Leaders take the heat, not just the credit. They hold themselves and others accountable.
WHY HD LEADERSHIP MATTERS NOW
Leading change today requires strong partnership and followership at a time when trust in leaders and institutions is badly eroded. For example, a 2016 Gallup Survey showed that only 18 percent of respondents had quite a lot (or more) confidence in Big Business. Congress had an even poorer showing with a nine percent confidence rating.
Activity ranging from geopolitical events to global mergers and acquisitions volume are sources of potential dislocation and stress.
High Definition Leadership generates stakeholder confidence and buy-in – not disengagement or resistance – so that management’s change objectives can be implemented with maximum success.
Clarity, commitment and consistency are essential attributes in the executive suite and the boardroom to transform a change strategy into actual results. Without these HD Leadership capabilities, confusion, mistrust and subpar execution are likely to occur.
Are you operating in High Definition mode? Take our quick HD Leader Quiz to find out.
Copyright ©Susan Battley, 2017. All rights reserved.