It’s Time for Human Performance Leadership

ID-100194461We are living in a time where the amount of information available on leadership is enormous. Just walk into any bookstore and in the business section you will see shelves filled with leadership books.  Popular business books by authors such as Tom Peters, who emerged in 1982 with the book In Search of Excellence, and Steven Covey’s books, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People  and Principle Centered Leadership, are just a few of the timeless classics that started people thinking and talking about what leadership in a well run organization could look like. The term “leadership” is still very present in our modern day media world and sometimes can be over stated and miss used.

Many leaders over the last few decades could lead an organization towards reaching organizational goals and objectives, and be responsible to the shareholders for quartile and yearly earnings.  However, given the new global economy and the rapid pace of change, in many organizations leaders are now more accountable for their actions, or inactions and social media will communicate rapidly how these leaders are performing.

Today’s progressive organizations understand that they must incorporate human performance attitudes and values into their cultures. Performance leadership is now essential for organizations to thrive and grow. Here are a few human performance leadership values modern day organizations live by.

Leadership by example

This concept has been around for decades, and as cliché as it sounds, leadership by example is no longer just optional for organizations in our modern world. If you are looking to hire and retain high-performing people, this is a quality that they will look for immediately within an organization – at every level. If it’s not evident to them, they will not join the organization, or they will only stay for a short period of time and then move on. Simply stated, high-level performers will not waste their talents with organizations where the leadership doesn’t lead by example. As the saying goes, “No one wants to just hear about great leadership. They want to see it”.

Leaders wearing multiple hats

Leadership in human performance organizations requires a person to wear different hats. Yes, leaders still have to lead, and ensure their focus is on the “big picture” (I know, another cliché term), but that is just not enough anymore. In the new world economy, founded on human skills, leaders must be able to wear different hats in order to make personal connections with the people they lead, and occasionally assume the role of a mentor or a coach.  Again, this is really nothing new. Just look at the great business leaders from the ‘60s and ‘70s (e.g. Allan Waters, CHUM Ltd.). They understood and valued the personal connection they had with the people who reported directly to them, and the people in the organization who worked towards achieving the organizational goals and objectives.

Keeping perspective

With a rapidly changing world economy, now more than ever leaders require the ability to keep a grounded perspective on the challenges and changes within and outside their organization. This is essential because it enables the people in the organization to maintain their performance focus on the tasks and responsibilities that need to be accomplished in order to keep up with the rapid pace of change in the new economy.

So, if you are striving to be the next generation of human performance leaders, start adapting some of these values, and show the people around you that you are in fact a human performance leader.

All the best in achieving your highest performance.


Image courtesy of