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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Barriers To Sustainable Performance

"It may be overly simplistic to say that a company’s success depends on the quality of its communication and internal dialogue. But look at the top and you’ll see that a leader who is authentic is a leader who has inspired clear and honest communication."

So begins the Ivey Business Journal article "The New Leadership Challenge: Removing The Emotional Barriers To Sustainable Performance in a Flat World," by Paul Wieand, Jan Birchfield and M. Carl Johnson III.

Pulling from disparate works such as Thomas Friedman's "The World Is Flat" and Jim Collins' "Good To Great", the authors summarize effective leadership in a five-step model:

Step 1: Overcoming the Personality: Removing barriers to self-knowledge and authenticity
Step 2: Authentic Leadership: Developing an authentic leadership style and applying it for effective decision-making
Step 3: Collaboration: Communicating to create unity without consensus
Step 4: Culture: Helping the leader create an environment that enhances openness, candor and dissent as essential characteristics of communication
Step 5: Commitment: Committing to a Level 5 environment for sustainably good results

BOTTOMLINE: "We would encourage CEOs and their executive staffs to embrace the 5-step model we describe above and commit to achieving a highly collaborative culture founded on authenticity. With this achievement, we believe that organizations will raise their success odds for delivering sustainably good performance."

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