I come more and more to the conclusion that excellent performance is not about complex innovations, but about small habits.
Excellent performance is about small habits
I am reading Leading with Emotional Intelligence by Redlan Nadler. He quotes from book The Extraordinary Leader by Zenger and Folkman. They found that doing 5 specific things really well put a leader in the top 10% of performance.
Small efforts in these 5 areas make a major difference.
- Giving Feedback
- Building Human Relationships
- Dealing with Poor Performance
- Self Management
- Managing Upwards
The table below gives specific examples of the difference between average leader behavior and top 10% leader behavior. If it doesn’t display properly via rss, view it on the blog here.
|Good Leader||Great leader|
|“Mary, thanks for getting the report to me.”||“Mary, great job on the report because it was well-written. I appreciate you checked-in with me on the process. I like how you collaborated with others.”|
|Building Human Relationships|
|Works in office on a project and then takes a break. On the way to get coffee, nods at a few people and walks past some without even looking. Heads right back to the computer.||Takes a break and stops at several people’s desks to check on how they are doing. Asks about projects and inquires about issues or challenges. Asks about family or hobbies.|
|Dealing with Poor Performance|
|John is not performing as I would like him to. “John, let’s make sure you do everything to get this right.”||“John, let’s spend time going over the next assignment together. You haven’t been performing like I know you can and I want to help. When can we meet?”|
|“I’d better work through lunch because I am behind and can catch up if I eat at my computer.”||“I am feeling tired and need to recharge. Going to lunch will help keep things in perspective and I will come back refreshed and better able to deal with these next challenges.”|
|“I don’t know what my boss thinks of me and how I am doing. I know she is busy and probably doesn’t need another interruption. “||“I am not sure what my boss thinks of me or how I am doing. I will schedule some time with her and clarify expectations and make sure I am doing what she wants. It will also give her visibility on my projects.”|