The ripple effect of your behaviour on your team’s performance.

February 5, 2024


As a leader sitting inside a private equity or venture capital backed business, perhaps for the first time, you will be acutely aware that time flies. You and your team agreed to a business plan and defined outcome with your new stakeholders, for example for your investor to exit the business in three to five years. There are KPIs in place, milestones to hit along the way to ensure you are on track, but are you wondering if there is something in your behaviour that is causing a ripple effect, limiting your own, your team’s and ultimately the whole business’s performance, hindering your chance to meet that exit target?

Here I explore the ripple effect of a leader’s behaviours, how they can significantly impact the success or failure of the team, and how coaching can help improve a leader’s strategic self-awareness. Having worked with private equity and venture capital backed businesses and their investors for nearly 20 years, I bring a deep appreciation of the dynamic and pressures that often exist.

Setting the tone through your behaviours

Leadership is a multifaceted role that extends beyond making strategic decisions and managing teams, there is a ripple effect from your behaviours. As a leader, you set the tone for your organisation, your values filter down, your behaviours create a precedent, and your communication sets the mood. Positive and empowering behaviours, such as effective communication, transparency, and collaboration, create an environment that fosters creativity and productivity. On the other hand, behaviours like micromanagement or indifference can create an atmosphere that stifles innovation and teamwork. You know this, but is it possible that you don’t recognise how some of your behaviours are impacting the morale, engagement and motivations of the whole team with the knock-on effect that results are not where they should be?

Truthfully understanding your behaviours

Your behaviours, both subtle and explicit, can have a profound impact on the culture and overall performance of the organisation but your role as leader can offer a buffer, a shield around you that means you may not actually be aware of how you behave or respond in certain situations. Do you think others are being truthful with you or are they insulating you from reality, avoiding telling you the truth? Are you being truly honest with yourself? Understanding your strengths, limitations and values is a start, but without really understanding how those play out in the context of, say, stress, or in relation to other members of your team, it is knowledge in a vacuum. What does it mean, for example, to know you are strategically visionary if you aren’t aware that this can tip over into too much blue sky thinking, too many ideas incoherently communicated leaving your team unsure of what it is you really mean, what your key priority is and what you want them to focus on?  Being more cognisant of this and of how others perceive you is the key to enhanced leadership skills which in turn gives you the best opportunity to deliver the plan for all stakeholders, internal and external.

Strategic self-awareness (as defined by Hogan, a leading provider of personality assessments) is “the degree to which you understand your strengths and limitations and how others see you in any competitive endeavour”. Without doubt, being in a private equity backed business is a “competitive endeavour”. Gaining this understanding enhances your ability to take decisive steps to adapt or change your behaviours where appropriate, and coaching can help you work out what those steps or changes might be. Adaptability and a willingness to change sets the stage for the whole organisation, inspiring a mindset of continuous improvement throughout. In contrast, being set in your ways, being rigid and resistant to change, may hinder progress and breed disengagement. After all, just because your behaviours got you to where you are today, it doesn’t mean those same behaviours will get you where you need to be in three to five years.  Your business is growing and evolving, perhaps you need to also.

How coaching might help you adapt your behaviours

Working together we will explore the question you have for yourself –

“What impact does my behaviour have on others, both positively and negatively?”

As your coach I will help you:

  • Understand your strengths and limitations.
  • Understand how you might react in certain situations or to certain people.
  • Explore the opportunities you have to adapt your behaviours and change your approach.

We will spend time spent thinking through these behaviours and possible changes you can make, reflecting on different scenarios you are likely to face, equipping you with new approaches and the knowledge of how to use them in practise. By creating some clear actions for you to work with in between our sessions, we will aim to stimulate your resourcefulness and energise you to make the changes necessary.

Coaching with me might be a challenge at times, it can be uncomfortable to dig deep into how your actions and communication might be impacting others. Everyone has blind spots where they might not see their own behaviours in the way others do, they may be deaf to the feedback they have received in the past hearing only what they want to hear. Our sessions will help you move beyond your existing thinking, offering pragmatic steps to help keep you on track with the business plan.

In conclusion

At the end of our time together, you will have gained a greater insight into your strengths, limitations and behaviours, but more importantly how the ripple effect of those behaviours can influence others and impact the business’s performance. By shifting your approach with small but significant tweaks, you can make a meaningful change that can have a lasting impact on results and keep you on track for that exit plan.

Get in touch to arrange a free discovery call to see how coaching with me might help enhance your strategic self-awareness.

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