Digital Transformation CEOs have a Collaborative, High Performance Leadership Style
Digital Transformation depends on company culture. Transformation CEOs must be able to create collaborative, high performance cultures in order to deliver new defendable market positions.
High Performance cultures,
- Have collaborative climates,
- Enable employees across organizations to perform at their highest level possible,
- Understand the best employees have the option of producing their best work at another company,
- Winning in the market place starts by winning the talent war,
- Recognizing the talent war goes beyond recruiting and retention and extends to the everyday choice employees make about their individual performance.
Transparency and Integrity,
A strong Transformation Culture depends on treating employees like adults. There is no better place to start than integrity. Integrity is a 360 decree process whose report card is follow-ship and employee morale.
Warren Buffett said, "I look for honest, able management". Find a board, leadership team, or company with secrets kept from one another and it is a sure bet employees, partners, and customers have a growing trust and confidence concern. Find the opposite, and time will reward that company with desired results. Leaders must demonstrate honesty by,
- Clearly communicating an understanding of the company’s assets and weakness,
- Legitimately grade focus, mission, strategic relevancy, roles, and tactical capabilities, and share results,
- Set ethical standards and provide clear, accurate performance report cards,
- Lead by example,
- Abhor hidden agendas,
- Hold themselves and others accountable.
Transformation Leadership requires an identifiable Style that signals change. Digital Transformation leaders are required to be change agents.
Today Digital Disruption comes at a more globally diverse, gender and generational competitive, and socially complex time whereby the employee culture melting pot demands collaboration with diversity.
- Effective Transformation CEOs embrace varying employee and external views as valuable data to be assimilated in the company fabric,
- Transformation CEOs must reflect a new age where outlandish perks and big time egos draw new levels of ire ranging from watch dog groups – business press –and employees. All who demand to be heard and are perilously ignored,
- Transformation CEOs who ensure employees are the company’s #1 asset build the required transformation environment conditions,
- Every employee must be treated with dignity and respect based on trust and constant communication,
- Transformation CEOs can not play favorites and must recognize that at the core of every organization are people who create, make, market, sell, deliver, support, measure, collect, and report – the very things customers, business partners, and Wall Street buy,
- Defining Moments occur every second as employees shape and manage the things they present to the market - offering a value proposition only they control,
- Transformation CEOs must not mistake things for people,
- Transformation CEOs must demonstrate they are proud of their company employees and brag on them like family.
Transformation CEOs must focus on Winning versus demanding Attention. Leaders Demanding attention today are on a fool’s mission casting themselves as “Emperor’s With No Clothes”. Today’s employees are,
- Constantly pulled in multiple directions,
- Stressed from dramatically increased role responsibilities,
- Juggling unprecedented personal commitments.
Recognizing the challenged lives employees face today, Transformation CEOs need to compete for employee attention and time versus dictating requirements. Forcing a single parent to choose between picking up their child on time from day care versus staying late to finish a last minute manger’s request is disrespectful. The report may get done, but motivation and morale will plunge, hurting future performance and company culture. CEOs who chose to motivate using energy and enthusiasm to gain commitment, focus, and results to create winning cultures.
Transformation CEOs believe in Earning Respect. Transformation CEOs communicate the company value, market relevancy, and sustainability of employee contribution and commitment.
The Transformation CEOs focuses on people first by,
- Enabling their performance,
- Identifying un-tapped capabilities and talents,
- Valuing People highest, the Transformation Leader does not treat systems and process as “intellectual Capital”,
- Using Systems and Process to support employees,
- Intensely valuing data that provides insight,
- Preferring people over tools to provide data,
- Looking to engage people in a conversational fashion preferring to meet with people versus receiving faceless electronic reports,
- Understanding the horse comes before the cart, realizing it is impossible to motivate a business tool,
- knowing the most willing employees can be de-motivated by poor performing tools or managers who tout the tool god.
Conducive and Inclusive Relationship Management is essential to building Transformation Cultures,
- Employees spend 80% of their day, five days a week at work. Employees build relationships and depend on each other in ways the leadership team does not witness,
- Employees have daily rituals; coffee together in the morning or lunch together. Good Transformation CEOs drop in on these gatherings taking time to be part of the group joining in their outside work discussions. Stories told during these gatherings build bonds that connect the Transformation CEOs to employees in a way that earns both the Leader and individual employee’s common ground,
- Exchanging glimpses into each others outside lives provides confidence that the Transformation CEO is an available, approachable listener.
- Every day a team will perform a great feat that may not directly link to company key performance indicators (KPIs). Transformation CEOs get into the plumbing to understand these accomplishments, knowing they are the foundation to company results.
Transformation CEOs actively find ways to reward their teams; personally delivering pizza to the team or requesting the team stand and be recognized by the whole company during employee meetings.
Transformation Leadership Requires Stamina and High Energy. Digital Transformation is not for the feint of Heart. Transformation CEOs run business marathons with high energy and personal productivity. Transformation CEOs are,
- Take the time to involve those not in their schedule,
- Routinely create a relaxed atmospheres for Q&A solicit company suggestions,
- Creates small group meetings, not mixing mangers and non mangers.
Transformation CEOs focus on Senior Executive Bonding. Successful Digital Transformations have a heightened dependency on The Senior Executive Team. Fiefdoms, Silos, and Politics kill Digital Transformations. Each Executive from CFO to Head of Sales has an organizational role that often conflicts with a peer. These accomplished and powerful leaders are thrown into Transformation dealings everyday. Their actions and reactions determine integrated coordination or chaos.
The Transformation CEOs understands that if executives can not work together and depend on each other, the rank and file has little chance of operating collaboratively.
- If the rank and file employee spends 80% of their time five days a week on the job, the senior executive spends 90% of their time six days a week focused on work.
Although more skilled at multi tasking, crisis management, and conditioned to grinding, the Transformation CEO recognizes that executive managers hide the fact they have fear and are under stress.Knowing that executive level positions and roles are often better suited to creating conflict among one another, the Transformation CEOs realizes,
- Basic relationship building is not enough to establish a comfortable environment,
- Continuously creates opportunities for the senior executive team to bond,
- Traditional “come to Jesus meetings” between conflicting executives are replaced with impromptu activities like golf.
Every CEO has two primary modes,
The Transformation CEO must Implement and Champion productivity principles for each mode by,
- Building Cohesive senior management teams that prides itself on collaboration, coordination, problem determination, and problem resolution,
- Creating Conditions a culture whereby employees and managers can count on and predict company behavior,
- Understanding leadership is responsible for creating and maintaining trust,
- Recognizing how fragile trust is in the work place.
Stewardship Mode is utilized when a company is hitting on all it's metric cylinders. Transformation Leader’s adopt a Stewardship mode that recognizes metric and innovative performance showing gratitude during up times; praising and rewarding all involved. It is easier to govern during up cycles. CEOs use this time to create strong follow-ship.
The Transformation Leadership Mode is deployed when a company is unable to innovate it's way to success.
- Engaging new ideas from the grass roots to the Senior Executive team; embracing the ideas of employees, partners, customers, analysts, and consultants,
- The CEO recognizes that there is no better tool for gaining respect than to request someone’s thoughts and opinions… thanking someone and asking them what they would do next are everyday actions of a Transformation Leader.
There are a great number of factors contributing to the up curve period stemming from internal company and external market realities making the up curve period somewhat unpredictable.
The Transformation CEOs builds emotional intelligence within the management team to prepare for down cycles,
- Like stored nuts for the coming winter season, the CEO implements a dependable culture platform designed to protect collaboration, go-forward decision making, and employee morale in troubled times,
- The CEO that changes tone under pressure promotes failure,
- The CEO who champions a positive, can-do culture and picks up the company tempo inspires greater results,
- Preparing for the worse, the CEO can count on the company’s strong culture to deliver the company’s best results regardless of cycle.