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Deliver happy people–and results

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

Excerpted and adapted from an article written by Dr. Tasha Eurich. Read the full article at

Effective leadership has an undeniable business value. In one study, Jack Zenger and colleagues (“How Extraordinary Leaders Double Profits”) examined the best (top 10%) and worst (bottom 10%) leaders at a large commercial bank. On average, the worst leaders’ departments experienced net losses of $1.2 million, while the best leaders boasted profits of $4.5 million.

You can create a culture where people are happy and engaged—and still meet your performance goals and quotas. Follow this advice:

  • Gather the facts. Just like you can’t start a weight-loss program without getting on a scale, you must begin your journey by learning the truth about yourself. We’re often the worst evaluators of our behavior. You may have placed yourself in the middle of the continuum, believing you place an equal emphasis on People and Results—but your team might say: “Are you kidding? You’re a total slave driver!” Use your resources and gather the facts, whether it’s through an assessment or feedback in the form of conversations.
  • Be laser-focused. For executive teams, research by Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi of Booz & Company shows that as their quantity of goals increases, revenue declines. Similarly, leaders often choose too many development goals. Give yourself the greatest chance for victory by developing one thing at a time. It is far better to make progress in one area than to make little or none in five.
  • Practice daily. It’s likely that you’ve had a development plan before –which gathered dust in a drawer. You were probably engaging in Delusional Development: the futile hope that just by wanting to get better at something and knowing enough to be dangerous, you’ll show improvement. The amount of deliberate practice you choose will be proportionate to your improvement.

A proud leadership geek, executive coach, speaker, contributor to The Huffington Post and author, Dr. Eurich is the author of the new book Bankable Leadership: Happy People, Bottom-Line Results, and the Power to Deliver Both. 

— Adapted from Turning Team Performance Inside Out, Susan Nash, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, http://nicholas

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