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One of the key elements of the Genius Leader Model is that there is no ‘right’ way to do things. There is only the way that is most authentic to you, and to your personal Genius Leader. That said, there are elements of each mode that are important and ensure that you and your organisation perform to their best ability. 

The Drive Mode is about ‘getting things done’, it’s about how you hold and manage yourself when you’re working towards goals – mainly in the short term. It is about rigour, consistency and excellent processes that work for your organisation – and personal processes that work for you.

The Drive responsibility of a leader is to set clear understandable targets with known deadlines,  to put energy into the business and to model high standards of delivery and behaviour. Reviewing performance, measuring outcomes and holding people accountable also fall into the Drive element of leadership.

Some of the practical elements of a day-to-day leadership role that are most directly impacted by your Drive mode include: 

  • Processes & structures – financial, legal, people-related, cultural ‘habits’ 
  • Time and expectation management 
  • Project management & communication 
  • Measuring long and short term impact
  • Performance reviews

 

 

 

There are many resources available to help build your capacity to ‘Drive’. In fact, this is the easiest mode in which to get and offer external assistance. 

In developing your own Drive mode in a way that works for you and your business, consider reading books as Getting Things Done By David Allen or From Good to Great by Jim Collins. 

If the legalities and financial elements of leading a business are not your strength or key area of knowledge, consider who you can consult or who you need to employ to ensure that these crucial business requirements are taken care of. If your business is established, financial processes, your tax cycles and registrations – are these up to date,  efficient and do you have a process to ensure that you’re kept on track. 

Project Management is a core expression of your Drive Mode.  How you think and act internally shows up fully when faced with a project, or task.

  • Are you apprehensive and tentative?
  • Do you start something diligently, and when your interest wanes you become more careless?
  • Do you move quickly to an outcome without considering all elements or people involved? 

For any business to be successful, there needs to be an outcome or deliverable made in the time frame required by a client. Project Management tools such as Trello or Basecamp integrate project management and team communication. They may be ‘too much’ for your business, or too little – maybe a Google sheet and a WhatsApp group are enough, or maybe a larger platform such as Zoho which integrates your CRM system and project management is right for you and your business. 

Personal and professional habits are essentially what allows us to achieve our goals – your productivity is a lagging tell of your planning and execution habits, your fitness a lagging tell of your exercise habits and so on. Managing your habits and routine is a core leadership skill and one that greatly influences your abilities as a Driver Leader. Atomic Habits by James Clear and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg are considered the foremost reading on this powerful practice and are highly recommended by our team. 

Your Drive mode influences the culture of the organisation. The leaders’ standards are the organisation’s standards, which means your personal standards in terms of timekeeping, communication, delivery and behaviour will be directly reflected in the business.

  • Do your meetings start on time?
  • Are people held accountable?
  • Is the work produced excellent?
  • Is there flexibility in the workplace or do you have a rigid environment?
  • Do you have a strict hierarchy in terms of communication and reporting? 

Getting caught up in Drive behaviour sometimes takes away from the bigger picture of a business. For this reason, it is important to step away regularly to ensure that all the elements of your business work for you, rather than you for them. One way to learn if you’re getting caught up in the minutiae of Drive is to work out how you spend your time is by using the Urgent/Important Matrix. This is a useful tool to check in with yourself about your personal time management allowing you to see clearly what you could be delegating or what elements of your work may be suffering as a result of your focus on process and structure. 

Recently, the Lockstep team had the good fortune of working with a tech start-up undergoing tremendous global expansion, adding 400 new employees to their team in a single calendar year. 

During this time of expansion, they were good at setting a breakneck pace for the business, while still understanding the need for their leadership team to step off the roundabout every now and again. This practice has ensured that their leaders remain fully aware of the extent and reality of their Drive Mode in the business, including the collateral damage that fast growth inevitably causes. The simple act of pausing to look around is sometimes all that is required to optimise, and temper, the Drive Mode. 

  • A leader in Drive mode is high energy, decisive, focussed on the organisation’s goals and models high standards to their team. 
  • The Drive mode encompasses the structures and processes of the business including performance reviews, legal and financial requirements and project management. 
  • There are many resources available that focus on improving the expression of Drive mode in the workplace – books, podcasts, project management tools 
  • It is vital to step away from the details in an organisation and ensure that your energy and efforts are being targeted in the most effective way. 

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