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17 August, 2015

The Secret of Effective Leaders in Business

This week we’re going to talk about one key way that you can go about growing the performance of your team. In fact, this tip is what I’ve come to view as the real secret of effective leaders, and that secret is:

Effective leaders have a system for noticing what their people are doing.

If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. If you don’t have a system for noticing what your people are doing it’s:

  1. difficult to provide positive feedback to encourage specific behaviours because you’re not noticing them happen.
  2. difficult to correct poor performance because you’re not noticing when your people are off track.
  3. hard to provide support to people if you’re not noticing when they’re struggling.  

So having a system for noticing what people are doing makes a lot of sense. But how do you go about putting something like this in place?

One example comes from a manager who first introduced me to this concept. At the time, he’d managed the highest performing business unit in a large organisation for three consecutive years. When I asked him about how he’d achieved this, he said that the secret to his unit’s success was that every time he got out of his chair, he’d go looking for good things.

I was curious about he meant, so I enquired further. He said that it didn’t matter what he was going to do; whether he was going to get a coffee, see a customer, or go to the printer, he’d make sure he walked past one or two of his people, pay attention to what they were doing, and if they were on track he’d pass a positive comment. He absolutely swore that this was the key to his team’s success.

And you know what? Suddenly I started to notice this everywhere. Every time I talked to a high-performing manager I discovered that they had a system – a regular, daily system for noticing what their people were doing. And when I helped other managers put this sort of system in place, their team performance significantly improved. So, in my view, this is the real secret of effective managers.

Next week we’re going to explore this further: we’re going to look at one thing that you must pay attention to when you’re putting a system like this into place. We’re also going to share some examples of how other managers have successfully grown the performance of their teams, by paying attention to what their people are doing.


To get our report “The Secret to Leadership Effectiveness”, which shows how YOU can help your organisation improve leadership quality, employee engagement, and financial success, click here.


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