What is High Impact Leadership?

You’re probably here because you’re a leader in a business who wants to improve their impact on their teammates and their company. The good news is that you’ve come to the right place! There is no doubt that you’ll need to put in some hard work to achieve your goals, but I guarantee that you’ll see results. To get started, we’re going to answer the question, “What is high impact leadership?” Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. High-impact leadership is when the leader, whether a manager or CEO, directly influences the daily workings of a company. 

What Does Winning Mean to You?

You need to define what winning looks like for you, and the best way to do that is to start with your values because victory undefined is victory unfulfilled. 

I’m going to give you the 30,000-foot view of victory and how we break that down. The bottom line is that be a high impact leader, the more precise you are in defining what victory means to you, and the more clearly you can articulate that the better the odds are, that you’ll win. 

You need to figure out what success means to you because when you define your success when you really visualize it, you become more committed. We all define winning differently, but you have to be able to measure it or quantify it to know when you’ve achieved it. Going through the motions isn’t enough to reach high impact leadership and ensure that your team buys into your vision of success. Victory isn’t a check-box exercise. 

What keeps you from winning? 

If you’ve had some tough losses this past quarter, think about what’s keeping you from winning. I’m willing to guess that a significant factor in your downturn isn’t a lack of skill but rather a lack of clarity. Winning will mean more to you when you take the time to clearly define what victory means. 

What are the fundamentals that drive your success? 

I break the word ‘victory’ down to create an easily remembered acronym; this is a technique I use with my clients to help them define what success means to them. 

  • VICTORY: A clear appreciation of the standards that drive you, your team, and your organization.

  • INTANGIBLES: Clarify and manage the details and other game-changing factors that elevate champions. I’m talking grit, work ethic, passion, enthusiasm, mental toughness, positive energy, and how you do what you do, creates the difference between winning and losing. They are the little things, the game-changers that separate you today from who you were yesterday, that separate you from your competitors and your peers. 

  • CREATIVITY: The ability to outthink your opponents—reframing, improving, and executing novel solutions. Develop the ability to deliberately create added value for an organization and its stakeholders. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of ‘it’s not my job’ negative thinking; if you’re a business leader, you’re either expanding or contracting as a human being. If you’re not getting outside your comfort zone, if you’re not stretching and growing, then you’re shrinking. The bottom line is being creative is your job.

  • TEAM: Inspiring and coordinating the effort of performers to accomplish challenges beyond their singular capabilities. Today’s workforce wants three things; they want to know that their work is important, they want to know that they are valued, and they want to be coached. High impact leadership consists of inspiring coaches and team members to accomplish challenges beyond their singular capability, refining specific skills to enhance the team’s overall capability and success.

  • OBJECTIVES: The motivating vision and mission of a different and better tomorrow. Leaders need to clearly articulate and execute their goals, projects, task processes, and systems. Define your metrics and know how to run effective feedback loops that help you learn from past performances. 

  • RULES OF THE GAME: Identify and clearly articulate constraints that limit performance. The rules of the game might be a little bit different than you’re thinking, and you need to understand the physical and mental frameworks that limit your potential success. Understand the orthodoxy to be able to challenge it to evolve and revolutionize performance. 

  • YOU: The Y stands for ‘you’ because the most important person that we’re coaching every single day is ourselves. Are you taking care of yourself? — sleep, eat, and rest, make a strong body and mind. You have to put in disciplined work to focus on becoming the best leader and team member possible. Hone your ability to do your best even when you’re not at your best. Know the role a highly skilled leader plays in the organization’s successes and in taking responsibility for the core foundation pillars.

The Five Fundamentals of Being a High Impact Coach

I layer these seven aspects above — which I term drills — with the five fundamentals of being a high impact elite coach. These fundamentals are something that I developed over many years of coaching the athletic world and in the business world. 

  • Preparation 
  • Communication
  • Execution
  • Reflection
  • Adaption

Reflecting honestly on what you’ve already done and the lessons you have learned and making the necessary changes are part of the five fundamentals of being a high impact coach. When you put those with the victory drills, you start digging into not only what victory means to you but how you achieve it. 

For a more in-depth answer to “What is high impact leadership,” listen to The Athletics of Business Podcast


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