Every employee is different, but unfortunately many leaders use a one-size-fits-all approach to leading. In doing so, these otherwise well-intentioned leaders are working harder than they should while not getting all they could out of their teams. How do leaders change the way they approach their employee and teams?
Victor Prince and Mike Figliuolo have the solution in their new book, Lead Inside the Box. Their new book is already a ‘Top 10 Hot New Release in Leadership on Amazon’. The book starts with the premise that:
1) A leader’s job is to help people move to a position of improved performance and higher satisfaction
2) A leader must lead based on the team member’s needs, not the leader’s own needs
3) A leader’s scarcest resource is the time and energy available to invest in leading the team – leadership capital – and should be allocated strategically
I am thrilled that today’s guest post is by Victor Prince, co-author of Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results.
We hear the phrase “think outside the box” a lot. If “the box” is something that is stifling creativity, it sounds like something to avoid. But when “the box” is a framework that smart leaders use to get better results from their teams, it is something to embrace.
In our new book Lead Inside the Box – How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results, my co-author Mike Figliuolo and I present the Leadership Matrix, or “the box” for short. The premise is you need to evaluate the amount of output you get from a team member and compare that to the amount of time and energy you have to invest in them to get it. We call that second piece “leadership capital.” The result of those comparisons is the Leadership Matrix.
Within that matrix, we define behavioral-performance patterns that team members demonstrate from Slackers to Rising Stars and everything in between. The real insight lies in practical advice on how to lead those folks to improve their performance. By understanding the behaviors your team members will demonstrate and how you invest (or don’t invest) your time and effort into them, you’ll get a clearer picture of the 8 archetypical behaviors that can show up in the box. With that understanding, you can begin leading differently, which will improve your performance.
Those archetypes are as follows:
can be categorized based upon their career aspirations. Some Exemplars want their great performance to provide them a stepping stone to larger roles and responsibilities. These are the “Rising Stars.” Other Exemplars are content remaining in their current roles. They’re experts and they’re satisfied with delivering outstanding results without much interference from their boss. These individuals are the “Domain Masters.”
High Cost Producers
break into subtypes based on the kinds of costs they incur. Some get results but at the high cost of damaging team morale and destroying the goodwill you and your team have accrued with others. These individuals are the “Steamrollers.” High-Cost Producers who get results but require an inordinate amount of hand-holding from their leader to get them done are the “Squeaky Wheels.”
are defined by the root cause of their performance issues. Some don’t have the skills they need to do their job. These individuals are the “Square Pegs.” We call Detractors who have the skills to do the job but they lack the will to do it the “
subtypes are determined by the kind of output they produce. Some only work to get their paycheck. They expend the bare minimum amount of effort required to keep getting paid. These are the behaviors of your “Stowaways.” Other Passengers exert a great deal of energy but they focus on tasks they want to do, not tasks you need them to do. We refer to Passengers behaving this way as “Joyriders.”
Once you have identified the behavioral-performance patterns present on your team, you will see your team in a new light. (You can use our simple online tool to assess your team using this framework.) Armed with these new insights, you can figure out the specific type of leadership each team member needs from you to improve their performance. By seeing your team as a portfolio, you can also figure out where you should invest less of your time in some parts so you can shift it to invest more in other parts. In short, you will learn to get better results out of your team by working smarter, not harder, as a leader.
Get your copy of Lead Inside The Box here. If you have read Lead Inside The Box I would love to know your thoughts on it. Leave a comment below.
About The Author
Victor Prince: As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Victor Prince helped build a new federal agency and led a division of hundreds of people. As a consultant with Bain & Company, he helped clients across the United States and Europe develop successful business strategies. Today, Victor is a consultant and speaker who teaches strategy and leadership skills to clients around the world.
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