So Just What is the Achievement Style?
Whether we’re looking at it from an individual leadership or broader organisational culture perspective, the Achievement style emphasises the setting and accomplishment of challenging yet realistic goals that improve performance.
While sometimes confused with the Competitive style, the Achievement style differs in that the focus is on improving one’s own performance as opposed to outperforming others (think of the sports stars who are always striving for their “personal best”).
In workplaces with an Achievement-focused culture, participants will generally feel expected to, for example:
- Set challenging yet realistic goals for themselves and others
- Work hard to achieve those goals
- Pursue a standard of excellence
- Think ahead and plan
- Focus on excellent and continual improvement.
Leaders high in the Achievement style will tend to, for example:
- Show enthusiasm
- Involve others in goal-setting and planning
- Explore alternatives before acting
- Be clear about their expectations of others
- Enjoy a challenge
- Believe in their own ability to achieve/impact (Achievement-focused individuals tend NOT to believe in fate, luck or chance as the determinant of success).
So Why is it Important?
Participants in workplaces with cultures high in the Achievement style, and supported by Achievement-focused leaders, are more satisfied, feel that they better “fit in” with and plan to stay with the organisation. They are more motivated, more willing to exert discretionary effort, and contribute more to problem-solving and change efforts.
When combined with a predominance of other Constructive styles, the research tells us clearly that Achievement cultures supported by Achievement-focused leaders facilitate better results at individual, team and organisational levels (research by Human Synergistics):
- Organisations: 32% more adaptable to changes in the external environment and 32% higher quality performance
- Teams: 28% more effective teamwork and 25% greater commitment to producing a quality result
- Individuals: 32% more motivated, 26% more satisfied and 25% more likely to stay with the organisation.