Principle 3: Promote Performance
Planning is good and important. At the end of the day, you and your team have to perform. As a leader, it is your responsibility to create an environment that promotes performance, on both the individual and team levels.
Building vision and nurturing collaboration are prerequisites for project success. Alas, they are useless if you cannot move your team to the performance stage. This is why you want to create an environment that helps promote performance. The following rules help achieve this.
Rule 1: Be a role model
No matter what project you are working on, be aware that as project leader you are a role model to your own team and others. Act as such. Walk your own talk and be true to your own principles. Demonstrate authentic leadership.
Rule 2: Create the right environment
If you want to promote performance in your team, take the time and find out what motivates each individual team member and the team as a whole. Discover what the individual team members and the complete team need to perform. Learn how you can help the team perform.
Rule 3: Empower your team
You have to enable your team to do its job and perform. Give your team the power and all the information it needs to do its job and perform. Give your team the opportunity to excel and have an active hand in project success.
Rule 4: Develop a solution-and-results orientation toward problems and risks
Performing teams focus on solutions and results rather than problems. A problem or risk is not seen as a potential showstopper but rather a chance to learn and prove skills and competencies on the individual and group levels.
Rule 5: Invite productive competition
Productive competitiveness can actually help promote performance - providing that the competitiveness aims at improving team performance and is linked with collaboration and social sharing.
Rule 6: Let it happen
When you and your team have jointly built a common vision and developed collaboration rules, there should be no need to micromanage team members. Trust your team and let the team do its job.
Rule 7: Celebrate performance
"Look for behaviors that reflect the purpose and values, skill development, and team work, and reward, reward, reward those behaviors". Make sure that this celebration coincides with the successful project delivery.
Lasting performance can be achieved but it takes practice, training, endurance, and a results-driven attitude toward project challenges to develop and sustain it. Yet, performance and project success do not fall from heaven. You have to prepare and work for them, learning from mistakes and failures. There cannot be performance without training or learning. This leads us to the fourth leadership principle: cultivating learning.
2. Blanchard, K. H., et al, High Five! The Magic of Working Together, HarperCollins, New York 2001, p190.