Building High Performance Organisations Using Results-Based Leadership (RBL) Framework

Introduction

“ The research found six distinct leadership styles, each springing from different components of emotional intelligence. The styles, taken individually, appear to have a direct and unique impact on the working atmosphere of a company, division, or team, and in turn, on its financial performance.”

- Daniel Goleman
(Leadership That Gets Results, Harvard Business Review, March 2000)

In essence, the heart of the leadership challenge that confronts today’s leaders is learning how to lead in situations of ever greater volatility and uncertainty in a globalised business environment, allied with the needs to deal with scale, complexity and new organisational forms that often break with the traditional organisational models and structures within which many have learned their ‘leadership trade’. So the basic assumption that past experience is the key for future leadership success is more open to scrutiny than ever.

Leadership is all about the ability to have impact and influence on your followers so as to engage them towards ACHIEVING RESULTS of your organisation through both Ontological Humility and Servant Leadership approaches blended with elements of Social Intelligence competencies and Socialised Power.

Leadership is an art and a science. It is an art because it continually evolves, changes form, and requires creativity. It is a science because there are certain essential principles and techniques required.

Leadership is an art and a science. It is an art because it continually evolves, changes form, and requires creativity. It is a science because there are certain essential principles and techniques required. A good leader knows when it is time to change shape because they are highly attentive to those around them. Coming from a position of strength, a great leader takes risks by freeing up the creative genius in their followers to build their capability and multiply the talents of the organization. This leads to community and greatness. By powerfully communicating a vision that animates, motivates, and inspires followers, a great leader is able to transform his or her organization.

The New Realities: Results-Based Leadership (RBL)

We are operating in a hypercompetitive business environment. The world moves faster today when compared to 10 years ago. Companies feel the pressure to decrease time to market and improve the quality of products while delivering on ever-changing customer expectations to maintain competitive posture – that is, be adaptive and nimble. Driving results is difficult even for companies who have the benefit of dedicated and knowledgeable employees and business leaders to leverage.

In the early years leadership studies, the so-called “trait theory” took the view that there is a set of traits that separates the leader from the pack. Traits purported to be characteristic of leaders included intelligence, a drive to dominate others, being extroverted and having charisma. Today, people often point to the importance of emotional intelligence in achieving leadership effectiveness.

There is growing evidence that the range of abilities that constitute what is now commonly known as emotional intelligence plays a key role in determining success in life and in the workplace. Recent research has uncovered links between specific elements of emotional intelligence and specific behaviors associated with leadership effectiveness and ineffectiveness.

Flexible leadership, however, involves being able to adapt your leadership style according to the situation and the state of the team - e.g.: taking charge when a team is forming but playing the role of coach when a team is managing itself well. This is critical in developing and sustaining employee engagement. There are six distinct leadership styles, each one springing from different components of emotional intelligence.

Organizations need leaders to visualize the future, motivate and inspire employees, and adapt to changing needs. On-going research by CEE indicates that, with the right leadership development support including executive coaching, those with leadership potential can be developed into outstanding leaders. Emotional Intelligence competencies are perhaps the most challenging for leaders to develop effectively and yet it is the one that often has the most impact. As emotionally intelligent leaders rise through the ranks of an organization, their profile becomes more visible to employees and their increased power can have greater impact towards achieving the organisational results (see Figure 1 below).

Figure 1 – The Results-based Leadership (RBL) Framework

 

Figure 2 – The Links in the Service Profit Chain Framework

Reference: Sattar Bawany (2014), “Building High Performance Organisations with Results-based Leadership Framework” in Leadership Excellence Essentials, Issue 11.2014 (November 2014).

Putting Employees First Before Customer and Profits

Putting the customer first has been the mantra of many companies for a long time. But however correct the mantra may be, perhaps it’s time to question the wisdom of it. Some companies already have, that is, put the customer second, after employees. The results are surprising and enlightening – engaged and contented employees and companies cited for their best practices. Moreover, customers are satisfied. This RBL Framework presents an operating model and proven approach for putting employees first.

Steady, long-term competitiveness requires an organization to be committed to putting employees first and developing quality training programs that are linked to its strategic objectives. Without a true commitment to the employees at all levels throughout an organization, the journey to enhance organizational performance will be an elusive adventure. Quality employees equate to organizational success. Unqualified and poorly trained employees equate to organizational failure.

An organization’s employees have always made the difference between a truly successful organization and a mediocre entity, but it’s amazing how often managers overlook or discount this fundamental recipe for economic survival. Organizations with cultures that focus on their people and that invest in their future will in the long-run, be more competitive than cultures that view employees as mere costs to be reduced in times of trouble.

Extensive published research by Harvard Business School (Heskett et al, 1994) as well as from CEE own consulting engagement, have resulted in the understanding the organization that plans every action around its employees will thrive in the marketplace.

The service-profit chain establishes relationships between profitability, customer loyalty, and employee satisfaction, loyalty, and productivity. The links in the chain (which should be regarded as propositions) are as follows: Profit and growth are stimulated primarily by customer loyalty. Loyalty is a direct result of customer satisfaction. Satisfaction is largely influenced by the value of services provided to customers. Value is created by satisfied, loyal, and productive employees. Employee satisfaction, in turn, results primarily from high-quality support services and policies that enable employees to deliver results to customers. (See Figure 2 above on “The Links in the Service-Profit Chain”).

It’s the employees who breathe life into an organization for it’s their skills and abilities that give an organization its competitiveness. As stated by Peters and Waterman, Jr. in their landmark research and international best seller "In Search of Excellence" (2004, 1982) “productivity and the economic rewards that go with it are achieved through the people of an organization.” A fundamental rule of organizational survival is to put employees first and develop their abilities and skills by establishing a quality training environment.

How to improve employee loyalty is one of today’s most difficult problems that troubles business leaders. Research has consistently shows that by putting employees first you can actually deliver your promise of customers first. If you do not put the employee first – if the business of management and managers is not to put employee first – there is no way you can get the customer first.

We have found that the Employees First approach produces far more passion than any motivational or recognition program. Why? Because it proves that management understands the importance of the work being done by the employees in the first place. It demonstrates that we are actively helping them in ways that make it easier for them to do their jobs. It shows that we trust them to do what needs to be done in the way they believe it should be done. And it shows that we respect them for the value they bring to the company.

We give them understanding, help, trust and respect–which are the drivers of employee engagement.

Conclusion

There is growing evidence that the range of abilities that constitute what is now commonly known as emotional intelligence plays a key role in determining success in life and in the workplace.

Since leaders lead people, the style with which you do it is important. It must truly represent you, fit with the situation, the results you wish to achieve and the people you hope will follow your lead. In truth, having a particular style is not as essential to being a leader as having a vision of what could exist, being committed to the vision, bringing great energy to realising that vision and having people to support you towards achieving the Organisational Results.