How do Great Leaders Create a High Performance Culture? | Ron Hyams

A high performance culture where employees are empowered, engaged and inspired can give your business a significant, measurable edge.  According to Gallup a high performance culture enables you to outperform your competitors by 147% in earnings per share (research by Gallup), achieve a 3x faster profit growth (Corporate Leadership Council) and realise a 20% uplift in individual performance improvement (Korn Ferry Hay Group).

According to research by Hay Goleman leadership behaviour is the key influence on culture – it determines 70% of the climate of an organization.   But leaders often don’t know what practically is required of them to build great cultures and much class room based culture training is over theoretical.

By contrast Ron Hyams approach is practical and results focused.  He suggests that leaders need to take 7 key steps:

  1. Define the cultural journey

The first step is to know what culture you have currently and what culture you need to be a truly great business.  However, it’s often not easy to see your own culture clearly because you are in it – it’s a bit like asking a fish about the sea. They can’t see it because they’re swimming in it!  Often its helpful to consult with an external coach/sounding board who can provide some objectivity and help you clarify what’s required.

  1. Find your why

Changing cultures is not easy.  It requires the drive and passion of leaders.  Leaders need to find their ‘why’ for doing this. Steve Jobs talked about ‘making a dent in the universe’ i.e. he wanted to leave a lasting legacy.  What is your ‘why’?

  1. Change leadership style

The old ‘heroic style’ of leadership where the individual leader has all the answers no longer works.  Rather leaders now need to coach, engage and empower.  By leading in these new ways they unlock the ‘discretionary effort’ of employees. This is the additional energy, creativity and pro-activity that employees can choose to give to their work – and that makes all the difference to performance.  To lead in these ways leaders have to challenge comfort zones and they may need to learn new skills.

  1. Get 360 feedback.

We are often the least able to accurately know our own strengths and weaknesses.  360 feedback provides a reality check on your strengths and areas for development.  There are many good instruments available and you need to find the best tool for your particular needs.

  1. Set development objectives.

As a leader you need to know how you want to develop yourself – what new behaviours or skills do you need?  A great way to grow yourself is to pick a stretch assignment that will require you to develop new skills.

  1. Have a senior sponsor.

It’s critically important to have the support and guidance of a senior person who is an advocate for you, who can guide you through organizational politics and who can unlock doors or introduce you to key people.

  1. Grow a high performance team.

Business is a ‘team sport’ and no single leader can or should have all the answers. It’s helpful to see team development as a journey.   You can use the Tuckman team development model (forming, storming, norming, performing, adjourning) and use this to identify where you are and what’s needed to move to the next stage.


Ron Hyams brings a powerful methodology for leadership and culture change that has been used and proven with top global corporates .  He provides practical guidance and experience for leaders to navigate this journey and grow themselves and their business to the next level.

He does this through:

  • Coaching leaders and their direct reports
  • Growing high performance teams
  • Developing coaching skills
  • Building high performance cultures

To find out more about how this could work in your particular situation contact Ron on


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