Leaders as Role Models.

The One Minute Read Series – from the best selling book The Four Mindsets – How to influence, motivate and lead high performance teams. (Wiley) By Anna-Lucia Mackay

“One of the most successful ways to influence people and raise performance in the workplace is for every manager to adopt the mindset of a role model. As Peter Drucker, author of Management Challenges for the 21st Century, has said,‘People do what they see’. Just as children mimic the behaviour, actions and attitudes of their parents, employees look to their managers and leaders.

In the workplace, as in life, we find positive and negative role models. People copy people! Simple examples of this are the use of bad language and non-adherence to a dress code. It is interesting to note how often someone who dresses and speaks in a certain way when they first join the team will within six months have adapted their language and dress to match those of other team members or the leader.

After years of asking people at work who their role models are, and why, we have found there is a clear trend in the traits and characteristics defined and articulated.These we classify as conscious traits (traits that people can define and articulate).

However,there are also subconscious traits — traits that people are impacted by but are unaware of these subconscious traits can include how a person presents themselves and how they speak, behave and act, all of which create a subconscious impression in others.

When was the last time you thought about yourself as a role model?

For most, not recently enough. If you want to influence how people think, feel and perform, you must become a role model — and make this a consistent and conscious mindset. This is not something that should be left to just happen. Those managers we interviewed who were considered by others to be role models understand this and actively work to control the perceptions others have of them.

In his book Moments of Truth, Jan Carlson describes how the perceptions others have of us are shaped by such ‘moments of truth’.

According to this theory, each moment of truth will affect, on a conscious or subconscious level, the way you are perceived. This, in turn, affects performance in the workplace— either positively or negatively.In other words,people are continually making conscious or unconscious judgements about you, your team, business or organisation and the way you work based purely on what they perceive you to do or not do.The facts have nothing to do with it!

Organisations who score the highest in terms of culture have managers who are conscious role models. They are taught how to role model and how to influence their staff to activate high performance. They also carefully control and monitor the perceptions others have of them.

During our research high-performing employees were asked if they felt their manager was a positive role model and, if so, what traits had the biggest influence and impact on their personal performance?

Regardless of industry, job function and status, the most common traits were consistency, a caring nature, authenticity (a sincere and genuine person), a good communicator, results oriented, and a desire to help and develop others. ”

This week we will take a look at what it means to demonstrate each of these traits….so watch this space!

Excerpt #2 from the best selling book The Four Mindsets – How to influence, motivate and lead high performance teams. (Wiley) Now sold in more than 25 countries.