The Five Ps of Leadership
Leadership is a crucial component of effective management. This article outlines some basic concepts to help maximize management efficiency.
Leadership is a vast subject and there are whole libraries full of things that tell you what to do about leadership. This article is just a small addition…
The Five P’s of leadership are as follows:
1. Pay Attention to What’s Important
2. Praise What You Want to Continue
3. Punish What You Want to Stop
4. Pay for the Results You Want
5. Promote the People Who Deliver Those Results
1. Pay Attention to What’s Important:
The job of a leader is to concentrate on what’s most important so that it gets taken care of. Then let the rest of the stuff takes care of itself.
If a leader is a perfectionist, it is going to be hard for him to follow this P. Remember, there’s no P for perfectionism in our list of Ps.
The good leader recognizes that there are limited resources of time, energy, people, and money, and therefore, in order to be successful, he must focus on the big stuff first.
What underlies all of this is something called “Pareto’s Law”, more commonly known as the 80/20 rule.
“The 80/20 rules says that there’s 20% of the stuff you do that gets you 80% of the results. The trick is finding that 20%. Once you’ve found it you then you have to pay attention to it.”
Pay attention to it in your written and oral communications. Restate the key themes over and over. Don’t undervalue repetition, repetition makes for memory and memory makes for action.
Organize you day, your communications, your organizational structures, your reward systems and everything else to pay attention to what’s important and then do that with unremitting diligence.
2. Praise What You Want to Continue:
Praise is the best training tool that a leader can use.
Praise can simply be defined as a positive consequence that follows a positive action. It’s a reward for something done right. A good leader uses praise to get people to continue to do things or to take positive action. That’s where it’s best used.
Remember, too, that praise is a tool that is most effective when it’s used inconsistently. Used consistently, praise tends to loose its force. So, don’t worry so much about praising everything that people do right, but do worry about praising.
3. Punish What You Want to Stop:
Punishment is the exact opposite of praise.
It is a negative consequence that follows negative behavior.
Someone explained this concept in very simple words:
“the good shall be rewarded and the unjust shall be punished in proportion to their deeds.”
Punishment – negative consequences – are the tool used to get people to stop stuff. If you figure out what’s most important for people to quit doing in your organization, rig up some kind of negative consequence for them if they do it.
In using this tool, a leader should always use precaution.
Mark Twain said, "A cat who sits on a hot stove will never sit on a hot stove again. But he won’t sit on a cold stove either.”
4. Pay for the Results You Want
Pay is one of the tangible ways a leader can reward people for doing good stuff. It’s another form of praise in visible and tangible form.
This should not be limited to paying money only. Pay people with time off, recognition, choice assignments, small gifts, and special bonuses to encourage the behavior you want.
Look for ways to pay for the results you want. Pay and praise are the things that get the engine of progress going.
5. Promote People Who Deliver the Results You Want
One of the most effective ways to increase productivity is to promote the people who deliver the desired results. The problem is that many leaders & organizations forget about it. They maintain reward and promotion systems that reward the old behavior, even while they’re trumpeting the new behavior in memo’s, meetings, and executive retreats.
In Summary, the five P’s of leadership will help you stay on track to positive organizational change. Remember to pay attention to what’s important, praise what you want to continue, punish what you want to stop, pay for the results you want, and promote the people who deliver those results and you’ll help your organization be the very best that it can become.