April 16, 2015

Do Your Employees Have The Sunday Night Blues?

When Sunday rolls around, how do your team members feel knowing they will be working for your leaders that week?

Do they have the Sunday Night Blues?

Do they feel excited or anxious? Energized or exhausted? Hopeful or fearful?

At Performex, we know leadership is primarily about inspiring and engaging teams towards a common goal. And influence can take different forms. According to John Maxwell, there are 5 levels of leadership: Level 1 Position, Level 2 Permission, Level 3 Production, Level 4 People Development, and Level 5 Pinnacle. As leaders, our goal is to develop from Level 1 to Level 5 over time. For purposes of this discussion, we'll focus on Level 1 (Position) and Level 4 (People Development). Level 1 leaders view leadership as a position and rely solely on authority or a title to influence followers. Level 4 leaders gain commitment and empower others recognizing that development of future leaders is a main priority.

To understand more about the differences between Level 1 and Level 4, let's consider a comparison of leaders who gain compliance and those who gain commitment:

Compliance Leaders… Commitment Leaders…
· Lead through fear (avoiding punishment) · Lead through trust (achieving goals)
· Communicate rules and policies · Communicate vision and values
· Rely on their authority or position · Rely on interpersonal skills / EQ
· Inspire minimum short-term effort · Inspire maximum long-term effort
· Expect conformance · Expect innovation
· Play not to lose · Play to win


Although compliance is necessary to ensure smoothly functioning organizations, it typically generates the minimum level of performance from teams. According to Aubrey and James Daniels in Measure of a Leader, discretionary (voluntary) effort tends to diminish to the point of compliance under sustained conditions of negative reinforcement. In other words, your teams will give a minimum level of effort to avoid punishment by complying rather than committing to organizational success long-term. You've engaged their minds, but not necessarily their hearts. Effective leaders need to positively reinforce true commitment in order to encourage discretionary effort that results in sustainable results and high performance. Through commitment, your leaders gain the hearts and minds of their teams.

After considering these differences, how do you think your leaders motivate...through compliance or commitment? If they are simply gaining compliance to organizational goals, then consider how much more you can accomplish by developing leaders with a commitment mindset.

So how can Performex help?

We can help you develop commitment-focused leaders through several methods:

  1. Our cadre of experienced coaches use a number of proven approaches in developing leaders. These include: Socratic methodology, storytelling, metaphors, analogies, perspective shift, time stretching, past reflection, and truth talk.
  2. Our Leadership programs are designed to challenge and inspire leaders at all levels. Through discussion, simulations, assessments, and feedback, participants gain new coaching skills to apply in their workplace.
  3. Our consulting services are designed to help you assess the current levels of coaching skills within your organization. If skills development is needed, we can help you develop long-term solutions.

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