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Leadership Behaviors for Effective Strategy Execution Published: Sunday, June 13, 2010 8:00 am By: Rafael Ríos, Executive Vice President

During the last 16 years QBS has dedicated its efforts to helping executive leadership teams achieve differentiating performance in their organizations. Our interventions have helped leadership teams to develop and implement strategies directed at optimizing their key resources - capital, technologies, brands, process capabilities and human capital. We have focused on making the Executive Leadership Team directly accountable for human capital value creation and achieving the contributions of the workforce needed to execute its strategy.

 As we have stated before, if we are to create differentiating value, our executive leadership team has to create differentiating performance from its workforce. Their success will depend on their ability to reprogram the mindset and mental models of their people, establish a cultural transformation roadmap that is understood and embraced by their workforce and identify the expected leadership and workforce behaviors necessary to execute strategy competitively. At the base there has been an increase emphasis in the differentiation of employees.

 But how do we know if our leadership team is on the right track? During the last 10 years we have been studying and refining measurement tools from different researchers, scholars and professional practitioners that have attempted to assess a leader's effort and success in executing their firm's strategy. While these leadership scorecards should be unique to each firm, the following has various items that can be applicable to most firms and individual leaders.

 As a leader you will be effective by:

 1)Providing a persistent, consistent, and optimistic focus on strategy execution, making sure that everyone understands that failure is not an option, 2) Providing a compelling and credible message (story) about why achieving our strategic goals or transforming our cultural is important for the survival of the organization, 3) Communicating the need for strategy execution face to face, one on one, in small groups, 4) Using symbols, metaphors and short stories effectively in order to energize your organization,  5) Introducing the knowledge and concepts that will serve as the tools to implement the change process and execute the strategy, 6) Discussing strategy execution at every key meeting  and in every resource allocation decisions, 7) Creating a moderate and manageable level of constructive tension or generating a sense urgency to execute the strategy, 8) Only recruiting the best people and not accepting anything else. 9) Communicating and demonstrating that growth is the only option.

 As a leader you will be effective in leading cultural transformation of your organization by:

 1) Designing and implementing the roadmap for strategy execution, 2) Focusing on resistance sources and accurately assessing of degree resistance, 3) Holding yourself and our executive leaders accountable for the change process, cultural transformation and strategy execution. 4) Influencing others to become advocates and contributors to the execution of the strategy. 5) Recognizing success frequently especially in public forums. 6) Making speed a top priority. 7) Creating a passionate environment to innovate, 7) Building the necessary coalitions to overcome resistance 8) Creating an environment of open, honest and transparent communication 9) Establishing audacious challenging goals. 10) Rewarding disciplined actions and people. 11) Aligning strategy and performance goals with individual results 12) Not accepting of marginal performance. 13) Focusing on the bare fact and don't let yourself to be swayed by organizational myths. 14) Protecting and nourishing your high performing talent.

 QBS has written over 200 articles relating to the role of the leadership function and the individual leader in inducing change, organizational and cultural transformational, executing the firm's strategy and achieving competitiveness. Our staff has designed and implemented Leadership Development Institutes in over 70 firms in the manufacturing, service, health, and academic sectors of our economy. Their purpose has been to develop the leadership competencies necessary to produce the behaviors expected to execute the firm's strategy.


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