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Change Leadership. “This fared worst among respondents, suggesting a lack of good leaders able to implement change and put strategy into effect. Change leadership involves excelling in the implementation of planning and processes; communicating the rationale behind changes; adequately developing new skills across all levels of the organisation; a continuous evaluation of any resistance to change; assessing and responding to any problems; and an awareness of the consequences of non-delivery.” (Survey by The HILL & University of Stellenbosch GSB – Sunday Times 7th September ‘03).

The Achievement Process provides managers with tools for building leadership competency. This dynamic process assists managers in moving from managing complexity by equipping them to deal with change and the challenges that they face in leading others. With the insight gained into self and others, the Achievement Process supports managers in enhancing the performance of their teams, resulting in improved results and the achievement of goals set.

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Self-awareness: Leaders become aware of their own preferred ways for ‘getting things done’. Opportunities are uncovered to enhance these preferences and to understand their impact on others. Leaders also need to be aware of the alternative approaches that exist but that may not always come naturally to them.

Awareness of others: Leaders need to constantly value the unique contributions that their managers and staff are making. Through valuing the contribution of others they will be providing the basis for genuine recognition and reward. They will also be expected to recognise when too many people are working in a similar way, resulting in poor productivity and underperformance.

Communication: Leaders gain an understanding of the degree to which communication styles match contribution preferences – in themselves and their managers/staff. This has implications and consequences for the clarity of their message, the reaction of team members, and the effectiveness of communication throughout the organisation. The 5 Stages & 15 Steps that make up the Achievement Model also provide a common management vocabulary

Conflict Management: Leaders need to anticipate, understand, and deal with conflict. The Achievement Process provides a neutral and objective means of resolving conflict.

Personal Development: Through the understanding of self and others, leaders have greater knowledge and insight as to where to focus what kind of training and development programmes.

High Pressure: Leaders are expected to handle periods of high pressure and implement mechanisms to deal with high pressure effectively. Through the Achievement Process, leaders learn to recognise changes in themselves and others that are indicative of high-pressure situations. This awareness helps leaders to seek or offer the support that is needed.

Problem solving and Decision-making: In facilitating people and teams towards creative solutions, leaders have to be able to unpack problems, make important decisions, understand why things happen the way they do, know what to do when things don’t go as planned, when the same mistakes get repeated, and when performance goals are simply not being achieved. The Achievement Process provides a framework for problem solving and decision-making.

Leading by example: This is a critical skill for building and maintaining credibility. Leaders need to be able to show their followers and peers how to moderate their behaviours. Above all they will need to show their people how to think innovatively, how to approach goals differently, and how to ‘get things done’ in the most effective way possible.

Managing performance/coaching: As with personal development the Achievement Process provides insights about development areas. Both high and low preferences are identified. These insights assist leaders in targeting focus areas for coaching and performance improvement.

Diversity of preferences: The ability of leaders to recognise and value diversity in the contribution preferences of their staff, especially when there are ‘lone voices’, is an important attribute that ensures that the collaboration and contribution of all in the team is harnessed for the effective and efficient completion of tasks.

Effective meetings: Leaders need to be able to conduct effective meetings. Because the Achievement Process is neutral and objective it removes the emotion that so often disrupts and makes aimless group meetings. In addition the Process will assist in the management of time and will ensure that meetings result in realistic action plans.

Team working: Leaders need to be able to understand the extent to which those they lead prefer to work with others, and the nature of the team working experiences they have had in the past. Through this understanding they will be able to allocate tasks appropriately and ensure that the necessary processes are in place to recognise and build on the value and the pitfalls of individual team member preferences and experiences.

In summary, leaders are human and cannot be expected to successfully fill critical leadership roles simply by osmosis – where trial and error methods practiced over time are expected to throw up some sort of leadership experience and competency. We don’t have the time even if this haphazard approach were reliable.

Leadership must therefore become a focal point of your training and development work. The foundation of what we do and why we exist begins with our leaders. Leaders have the task of taking the organisation forward. They must guide the delivery of the strategy, direct the achievement of goals, and ensure the creation of value.

The Achievement Process is a logical and straightforward approach to getting things done. It will provide your managers with a very practical and simple way of applying the important leadership attributes described above.

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