Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Synergies between Great Leaders and Sheep Dogs

A few weeks ago I was doing a performance review with one of the managers I have the great privilege to work with. As you know, performance reviews are a process for establishing a shared understanding about what is to be achieved at an organisational level. It is about aligning the organisational objectives with the staff members' agreed delivery of results, the measures, skills, competency requirements and their learning and development plan. 

Each fortnight we ‘catch up’ to have regular discussions which include such things as coaching, mentoring, feedback and assessment. This annual formal review is a conversation to confirm how well the staff member has performed against the agreed performance objectives and to set new targets.

This performance review was very enjoyable because the leader who I was assessing had well exceeded their contribution to the achievement the overall business objectives, the agreed organisation's mission and strategic plan. She had demonstrated leadership against a range of competencies including: 

o  Perseverance and resilience
o   Flexibility and agility
o   Authenticity and integrity
o   Courage and candour
o   Self-management and self-development
o   Prioritising and decision-making
o   Interpersonal/relationship skills
o   People management and people development
o   Direction and delegation you show your team and the organisation 
o   Collaboration with others
o   Vision and values – commitment you have shown to driving the values
o   Person-centred focus both with staff and clients
o   Inspiration and motivation
o   Planning and Implementation
o   Ethical conduct
o   Creativity and innovation
o   Transformation of the team and the business
o   Implementation of Systems and structures
o   Working with ambiguity

After I had given her examples of how she demonstrated these competencies in the work place she said "Well really I am just a sheep dog" , "I am a guardian, at times I have to ‘bark’ and ‘nip’ and sometimes I have to stare down outsiders who want to take my staff". "I like to keep the staff together and help them to move in the right direction". 

This manager spends each day with her staff, she blends in and watches out for them, she cares, rewards, develops and if needed protects them. I was struck by this analogy and remembered hearing on the radio how much a good sheep dog is worth. Through her eyes, her words I can now see why.

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