Lead People...Manage Things

Comments (19)

Lead People...Manage Things

By: Brian Ward

Master The Five Key Facets of High Performance Leadership

Many people in leadership positions struggle with understanding what makes a great leader. While billions of dollars are spent annually on leadership development, quality leadership is still in short supply.

Organizations have responded to the demand for high performance leadership with myriads of education and training programs and resources, which seem to be plentiful,...Amazon.com has over 9,000 references on leadership...yet most organized attempts at developing high performance leaders fail to achieve their aims.

So what does work?

In working with leaders we have isolated five key characteristics that successful leaders demonstrate. These work extremely well in all settings, be it governmental, non-profit or for-profit commercial. These five key facets of high performance leadership are universal.

They are easy to remember using the acronym FACET. Here they are...

Focus - Authenticity - Courage - Empathy - Timing


Effective leaders stay focused on the outcomes they wish to create, and don't get too married to the methods used to achieve them. They provide this 'outcomes focus' for their organization by emphasizing the mission, vision, values and strategic goals of their organization and at the same time building the capacity of their organizations to achieve them. This capacity building emphasizes the need to be flexible, creative and innovative and avoid becoming fossilized through the adoption of bureaucratic structures, policies and processes.


Leaders who are authentic attract followers, even leaders who are viewed as being highly driven and difficult to work for. Simply put, they are viewed as always being themselves...and therefore followers know what to expect from them and can rely on them, come thick or thin. Authenticity provides the leader with the currency to obtain 'buy-in' from key stakeholders, because it builds and maintains trust. Authenticity is the bedrock upon which the other facets are built.


The challenges facing leaders today are immense, and require great courage to overcome. Leaders are constantly being challenged by others, be it their own team, customers, the public or other stakeholders. Standing firm in the face of criticism, yet having the courage to admit when they are wrong, are hallmarks of courageous leaders. For example, shifting an organization from being introspective to becoming customer focused requires courage when people pay lip service to the new direction...it means calling people on their bluff.


Effective leaders know how to listen empathetically...thus legitimizing others' input. By doing so, they promote consensus building, and build strong teams. They coach others to do the same, and so create a culture of inclusiveness. They tend to be great listeners who capitalize on the ideas of others, and provide recognition for these ideas, yet they don't get bogged down in overly complicated dialogue. While they create learning organizations that place a high value on dialogue and continuous feedback, they know when to take action, when to 'fish or cut bait', which brings us on to the final facet...


The one facet that can make or break a leader is in knowing when to make critical decisions and when not to. All of the other facets must be viewed as subservient to getting the timing of critical decisions right. There is a need to be focused, authentic, courageous and empathetic, but get the timing wrong on critical decisions and everything else stands to be nullified. Great leaders move with appropriate speed. They don't believe that everything must be done immediately...they know how to prioritize, and how to get their team to prioritize. As well, they engage in timely follow-through to ensure actions that are committed to happen in a well coordinated and timely way. They use time as an ally.

Is that all it takes to be a great leader?

These facets of high performance leadership are not exhaustive. Just as one would look at the facets of a diamond, upon closer observation other facets become observable. Any person can aspire to being a great leader by commencing with these facets. If you are in a leadership role, regardless of your position in your organization, start by asking yourself the following key questions:

Key Questions

How focused am I? How much of my time do I spend communicating and inspiring people about our mission, vision, values and strategic goals? How much focus do I create in my organization? How married am I/my organization to methods that have outlived their usefulness?

Am I viewed as authentic? Do people see and hear the real me? Do I wear a mask at work, and remove it when I leave each evening?

How courageous am I when my values, vision and goals are challenged? Do I stand firm and only change my position when I know that I am wrong? Do I have my team identify what they need to STOP doing, what they need to START doing and what they need to CONTINUE doing to achieve our focus?

How empathetic am I? Too much/too little? Do I create enough opportunities for open and candid dialogue? Do I ever find myself and my team getting bogged down in consensus building, or achieving false consensus? Is there a feeling of inclusiveness amongst the members of my team and throughout our organization, and with other stakeholders, including customers?

Do I make and execute decisions in a timely fashion? Do I know when to 'fish or cut bait?' - do I demand well coordinated and timely execution of strategy from others? Do I use time as an ally?

What you can do to create a high performance leadership culture...

Asking these questions in a candid way will open up many possibilities for you, your organization or your clients...if you have the courage as a leader to do it.

Building and sustaining a high performance leadership culture takes time, patience and a clear focus on the vital few characteristics that leaders can develop naturally and authentically. Listening to what people expect from you as a leader, and then responding empathically, in a timely fashion, will move you dramatically towards mastering these five key facets of high performance leadership.

Above all, you need to TAKE ACTION.

About The Author

Brian Ward is a Principal in Affinity Consulting. He works with senior and middle management and their teams to improve performance. His website is at http://www.affinitymc.com where you can sign up for his free monthly ezine Strategy in Action



misscaz14 07.03.2011. 23:22

How would I go ahead starting my own business? I am a 17 year old girl and have always loved making money, leading people and managing things. My boyfriend has come up with a brilliant invention and I really want to turn this into a huge business, as I have always dreamt of.

No, I am not going to state the invention as I do not wish for anybody to steal his idea. How would I start the business, and what steps would I go through to create it?
This includes advertising, etc. I have a vague idea, but would really like some more help with this.

Thank you


tomasemilio 29.09.2009. 20:53

What are the downfalls of Capitalism and Market? I know that today's world depends on capitalism and it has proved to be the best way to manage things around. But like everything else in this world, nothing is perfect. Can anyone name the problems it has? Thanks.


Admin 29.09.2009. 20:53

Capitalism and free markets work well only when the competition is free and fair. And it's very difficult to keep the competition free and fair.

Various companies can easily collude and conspire to form monopolies, oligopolies, cartels, or simply bribe government officials to gain various advantages.

Political campaign contributions is one form of acceptable bribery in USA nowadays. And this has led to the deregulation of the financial industry and the present financial crisis.

The government can also interfere in free markets for political reasons and make the competition less than free and fair.

And of course, bad laws or lack of laws that control corruption, theft, and bribery also leads to unfair competition that damages capitalist economy.


Savannah 08.08.2007. 03:51

How do people lead and manage a pack of dogs? Like Cesar Millan does? Do you have to be skilled like him to own that many dogs and manage and lead a large pack?? Yeesh!


Admin 08.08.2007. 03:51

Well you have to be a strong Alpha leader. Every dog in the pack must see you as the Alpha. Even with just basic training done correctly you can achieve that goal. A pack needs structure and order which they get from their owner. Training isn't just sessions of classes and then you are done. Everyday activies can also be a form of training and showing them your Alpha position. Some dogs tend to be more dominant and can challenge thier owner to the Alpha position. Which can sometime make it harder. And then they need to be reminded that you are Alpha. That is why I think just letting them know that even with little things everday makes it a bit easier.


damanwitdaplan 03.09.2010. 18:35

What differences between the new england and southern colonies lead to the civil war? What differences between the new england and southern colonies lead to the civil war?



Admin 03.09.2010. 18:35

So, lets get started. Firstly the cause of the Civil War, as many things in this world, was money. Sorry guys, it wasnt slavery, wait, yes it was.. okay time to confuse a few people. The Mason-Dixon line represented a political boundary between the free northern states and the southern slave states. It represented also, a shift in ideology. The shift, revolves around economy. I wont venture to say that the north was "better" because they didnt have slaves and the south was "worse" because they did, what I will say is this. The north got rid of slavery because they no longer needed it. This is purely economic mind you. The north had industrialized, it had Major cities, it had huge factories, it had mass production, and most of all it had the population to support it. It was a totally different story in the south. Southern economy was based on agriculture, specifically on the plantation. Plantations were huge, and the south didn't have enough people (without slaves) to farm all of their land, It simply wasn't possible. They depended on their slaves to do all of the work.
So there is the ideological and economic split between north and south.

The other reason was politics, the south lost the elections, they lost congress and they lost the presidency, they couldn't Filibuster any more and slavery was about to be voted out for good. But remember that Slavery is a much larger concept than just owning someone, it represented the way things were done in the south, It was their economic backbone, and without it there was no way for them to manage under their current position. When the situation became untenable states started to secede.

Now since you mentioned religion I'll bring it in, but with a small caveat, much of this is and must be speculation. The North was an interesting religious place, there were the religiously tolerant Quakers for example and the rather intolerant Puritans in the area as well. among a multitude of other religions. Towards the early to mid-1800's, with industrialization in full tilt and the need for slavery severely diminished, one may speculate that religion had a large voice in abolishing slavery in the north. To then say that the religious folk in the south were all pro-slavery is incorrect, remember that the south needed slavery to function.


Link 06.11.2008. 08:41

What should we talk to extraterrestrials about if we do manage to find some and can communicate with them? Assume that we did contact aliens and established a dialogue with them. What sorts of things should we tell them about our planet and about us as humans? What sorts of things would you want to know about them, their planet, and their civilization? I'm asking this in a few different sections to get opinions from a variety of people.


Admin 06.11.2008. 08:41

The thing is we don't want to talk to them at this point.

In human history every culture that came in contact with a culture that was greatly technically superior saw disaster befall them, most of the cultures were completely destroyed.

What works for a person is different based on the uniqueness of that person so too would be what worked for a species. To assume that the success of one species would transfer to another would be to deny the uniqueness of that species. So philosophical questions would be more of an academic than practical exercise. It'd be interesting to see a truly alien point of view and that insight could lead us to our own discoveries but not replace them.

Intellect like muscles requires usage. If we were to rely on an external source whether it be AI or aliens or religion to do our thinking for us just like a muscle that is not exercised so too our intellect would shrivel up making us dependent and destroying us as a species.

In terms of technology so many people think aliens could just swoop in and rescue us. Even if they came to us with the best intentions, something far from certain, the acts of kindness would turn to a gift of self destruction. Without understanding the mechanics of a technology we'd be crippled in our use of it. We would also be potentially dangerous. An analogy would be you hand somebody a hand granade. They know pull the pin it goes boom but not understanding the nature of the gunpowder inside they might sit it on a stove not knowing any better. The person giving the hand granade would assume such innate knowledge. So if an alien species just up and gave us faster than light technology the havoc we might wrought upon the universe in our ignorance could be staggering.

Worse we would be completely dependent upon the aliens from then on as it'd take us thousands of years even given detailed texts possibly to gain the building blocks to actually understand the technology.

So the things I would ask Aliens would be about the universe. How many species, what kinds of life exist out there, how old is it all, what do they know on a high level about the start end and the nature of space? Things of that nature which would not be beyond our ability to incorporate, which would be potentially invaluable to us as a species and things that would be of help.

Star Trek made a big deal of the prime directive and that really is based on human experience. Contact with Aliens is unlikely to be a positive experience for us while we are so primitive. We will be at their mercy for starters. They will have the technology to impose anything they wish upon us. Even good natured gestures could have very disasterous unintended impacts on our society. Then there are physical issues. Parasites and disease could be transmitted by this contact which wipe us out of existence. Our location could be reported to some sort of a galactic map which less friendly aliens used for locating targets.

In Sci-Fi there is quite a bit of conjecture about what our first contact with another species would be like. Our experience is limited to this Earth and how far that models the rest of the universe is anybodies guess. I look at it this way. The most intelligent species are usually the top of the food chain on Earth. Either out of necessity to catch prey or by possessing sheer size which makes the creature without real enemies. Humans, Dolphins, Cats, Dogs, Wolves are examples of the former. Whales, great apes and Elephants the second. Elephants are as far as I can tell the only pure herbivore except maybe horses on the planet and elephants are are the very bottom scale.

As such I feel that only a tiny fraction of space faring species will not be at least Omivores. This introduces a natural aggressiveness that comes with stalking prey. On top of that many species are likely to have had intelligent competition. I suspect that the Earth is unusual in only developing a single highly intelligent species or it might be just a little early, that Dolphins, apes, dogs and or cats might only be 100,000 years behind us. That is assuming no human intervention in the process. It may well be possible for other species on Earth to develop at least as much intelligence as humans now possess maybe in as little as a few hundred years with human interference.

So the first non-human intelligent species we converse with has a high chance of being a species we helped to establish that level of intelligence whether it be AI or a local species.


someone 04.04.2009. 22:24

How to lead a team of 2 ppl when the 3 of us are starting our own business? 2 friends of mine and I have started our own business. I'm the most experienced one of us. However, I'm finding difficulty in managing our first project. What are the basic advices that you can give in this situation?


Admin 04.04.2009. 22:24

I have learned that the best thing to do is to play on an individual's strengths. For instance, if one is better at accounting then the other, or if one is a better sales person.
From personal experience, even if you are the one that came up with the business idea, try not to make your friends feel like they are more of a nuisance then a help. Ask for their input too, don't just give them a to do list.
A business venture can destroy friendships, in a number of ways, but especially if things are always an uphill battle.
Make sure that your business is setup properly and legally as far as controlling interest, shares, regulations and such because that can make a huge difference if things turn sour.
Good luck!


Color of the Sun 14.11.2012. 14:02

What to do about stray cat that we would like to welcome into our home? Last night, after arriving home, I noticed a small ball of fur dashing beneath my car as I headed indoors. Despite the cold, I was compelled to wait at my door for the little thing to to resurface. I did not wait long. It took perhaps seconds the the little cat to expose itself before me with a curious look on it's face. I spoke to it calmly and it seemed to be willing to hear what I had to say. It's eyes were immensely deep, like little black holes nestled in its dense calico-patterned face. My housemate appeared at some distance behind me and asked about my standing at the door, allowing the unwelcome cold air.
"You have a visitor," I joked, still locked in the cat's gaze. I calmly explained the strange cat, hoping my elevated voice and change of tone would not scare it away. It did recoil slightly, obviously trusting me very little.
"Let it in" was my house-mate's reply. I was filled willed with mirth at that moment.. The cat did little more than curl it's bushy-white tipped tail around its waist, shivering slightly. It was really too cold for the poor thing. My housemate walked over now and issued a few words along with me. It replied with a couple of meows, then remained quiet.
Luckily, the miniature beast was patient. I retrieved a bit of mashed potato and offered it a bit, placing the food on my doorstep. It took the food after I distanced myself a bit. It retreated the first few times, judging the new taste but eventually finding it more than satisfactory. After a careful, slow dance involving some , I did manage to get the thing to eat out of my hand a few times after my house-mate went away. More effort and deception (I played a meowing cat video behind me, hoping it would feel more comfortable) lead to me managing to get it inside of the house. Unfortunately, I was careless and too worried about scaring it away, allowing it snatch a rather large piece of food only to make off with it through a propped-open door to eat where it felt most safe. It did stay by the door for a moment, but when I walked away this time, it did not stay.

Damn it.

I placed a box outside with unwanted clothes and a bit of food in it. Maybe it stayed there overnight?

In any case, how do I pick up where we left off in the even that it hangs around? I would like to make it feel comfortable and adopt it. It looked to be in outstanding health, but I understand it will need to be taken to a vet as soon as possible, but that might not be feasible if I can't get it to trust me fully. Would luring it into my home again and trapping it next time result in a bad end? Is that my only recourse?

Help. Please. I need your kitty knowledge! So much love and happiness is possible here. :):):)!!!!

Color of the Sun

Admin 14.11.2012. 14:02

Keep on feeding. Build trust. Then it will finally start to venture inside.


dogluvr4eva 19.07.2008. 14:15

What are all the thing I would need to have a milking goat? I am planning on getting two lamancha goats but I'm not sure all what things i would need.


Admin 19.07.2008. 14:15

I have about 100 goats. To have milking goats for you family, you need a lot of things.

Well fenced pasture
Shelter for the goats
Water trough
Hay rack
Salt/mineral blocks
Hay for the goats
Some people feed grain, but I do not.
Milking stantion...optional, but highly recomended.
Seamless, stainless steel milking buckets (manditory)
Strip cup & filters (optional for me)
Collars for the does
Lead rope (optional, but recomended)
Glass jars to store you milk in, after properly cooling it
Udder wash

Do you plan to make cheese, or butter? You will need even more things.

I sugest you order the Hoegger Goat Supply catalog. Here's a link:

Hoeggers is great for finding your dairy goat supplies. LaManchas are a terrific choice of goats, by the way! Very sweet natured, and high butter fat content in their milk (that means easier cheese and butter making).

Don't go overboard ordering supplies. Do concider making your milking stantion, and hay racks yourself. I highly reccomend hay racks that are built as keyhole feeders. It keeps the goats from wasting so much of their hay.

Order only the most basic supplies you have to (they are expensive enough) and go from there.

Seamless, stainless steel buckets are NOT an optional...they are a MUST. Plastic is filled with pours and will trap bacteria, eventually causing your family to become ill. Seamless, stainless steel is the ONLY proper thing to milk into. The buckets are expensive.

To properly cool your milk, bring it in, pour into glass jars (filter if you need to) and set the glass jars in the sink. Have frozen bottles of water (like plastic soda bottles) and stick them all around the milk jar, then put cold water into the sink.

The proper handling of milk, means to cool it as rapidly as possible. Just sticking your jar of fresh milk into the fridge will NOT cool it rapidly enough.

Be sure you put your plastic bottles of water back in the freezer. Remember you will be doing it all over again, 12 hours later.

To have milk from does, you have to get them pregnant and that means kids. You need to resign yourself right from the start that some of those kids are going to be boys. There simply are not enough pet homes for all those boy goats, no matter how cute, and how charming. Make peace with the idea that those boy kids are going to go to be eaten right from the start. Then you can allow yourself to be pleasantly suprised if any of them do manage to get pet homes.

All of the "milk" from the first 24 hours of a does lactation needs to go to the kids. It's filled with colostrum that the kids desperately need to have a healthy start in life.

If you have questions, feel free to email me.

Permaculture homesteading/farming over 20 years


Panz 21.01.2007. 23:46

How can I get my girlfriend to be more sensible with managing her money? I have a girlfriend who is great and we have been together for 4 years. She is fantastic in every way except for managing her finances. She currently earns more than me but she is always overdrawn and I have had to bail her out on more than one occassion.

She was brought up in a house where her father spent money loosley and she was never taught to appreciate the values of personal finance management. I have tried to broach the subject several times but it always ends in a arguement and she becomes really defensive. She doesnt open her bank statements and sometimes she even hides them! She can never estimate her current bank account within 300 + or - !

What can i do to make sure she sorts this issue out without having any more arguments? I don't want to live like a pauper and grow old with her in a dingy bedsit! lol.


Admin 21.01.2007. 23:46

some people may never change, but "guiding" her in the right direction by setting her up on a budget would be the best thing to try. give her a weekly "spending money" that you both can agree on, and try to stick with it. She most likely won't like the idea at first, but getting her to give it a try may lead to better future.


Barry Sotorro 19.02.2011. 06:41

How come we never get to hear the good things about Hitler? Theres gotta be something good that Hitler did. What were they? Do you think its fair that the media only focuses on the negative things and tries to blow everything out of proportion?

Barry Sotorro

Admin 19.02.2011. 06:41

I agree, it isn't fair. He really boosted Germany's economy, bringing them out of the slump they had fallen into after WW1, and the Treaty of Versailles. He was a brilliant orator and the people loved him. The NAZI experiments and crap done during the war lead to huge breakthroughs in medical science and he also managed to unite a really whacked country. However, he also was a psychopath with a whole bunch of personality disorders and did organise for the mass extermination of Jews, Gypsies, homesexuals, socialists etc. So, that's not very politically correct, and the media would hate to say good shit about someone so un-p.c.


Write a comment

* = required field





* Yes No