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High Performance Leadership - Creating, Leading and Living in a High Performance World





Book: 'High Performance Leadership - Creating, Leading and Living in a High Performance World'

Author: Graham Winter

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, 2004

ISBN: 0-470-82081-0

Leader Values

In the business world you hear a lot of sporting metaphors. We aim to have a level playing field, beat our competition in the race to market a new product, call time out in heated meetings and look for creative left field ideas. We may need to hit a string of homers if the project deadlines leave no time for failures, and strive to satisfy the consumer by hitting the sweet spot on the value equation. Many leadership books and training programs also use sporting analogies to explain the importance of the leader, the coach or teamwork. And of course, movies about baseball and basketball teams are favourites for examining leadership styles and skills.

Graham Winter takes the connections between sports and business to a new level in High Performance Leadership. Winter is an organizational psychologist and consultant who has worked in business, coached the Australian Olympic team and provided leadership training for an impressive range of companies. Not surprisingly, he sees many similarities between Olympic teams and successful business organisations. In his book, he describes the modern business world as the global game and business leaders as business athletes. He gives a detailed analysis of how Olympic teams achieve high performance results, and then reapplies these methods to the corresponding business situations.

The core of High Performance Leadership is a model built on five dimensions: strategic leadership, performance coaching, development coaching, performance relationships and personal leadership. This model is developed in detail and used to show how you can become a Performance Leader. Essential skills for playing the global game of business include building personal relationships, managing your energy, defining a clear direction and turning yourself into a high performance brand.

Along the way, Winter talks about the need for vision, passion and values. But his down to earth discussion gives these rather overworked business concepts a fresh and practical meaning. His advice on setting your personal goals includes the sound warning, Beware of a toxic mindset that sees only results. To be a truly balanced business athlete, your goals need to include mastery (personal development) and passion (fun and satisfaction) in addition to achieving results.

Of course, high performance doesnt come easily whether in business leadership or sport. Although this book is very readable, it is certainly not meant to be read casually. You wont become a high performance leader by simply reading about it. Winters approach demands your full commitment and includes a range of topics for personal reflection and self analysis. Winter believes that every business athlete needs a coach, so he also gives topics for your personal coach to work through with you.

If your leadership skills need a step change in performance, High Performance Leadership may be the Olympic program to help you win gold.

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