Tag Archives: Building Confidence

Terry Leahy’s high performance behaviour on Desert Island Discs

We’ve been working with Professor Harry Schroder’s High Performance Behaviours (HPBs) for a long time now so it’s hardly surprising that we tend to ‘see’ examples of the behaviour regularly in every day life.

Yesterday, for example, Sir Terry Leahy, ex CEO of Tesco plc, was on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs and his interview was littered with potential examples of HPBs. We say ‘potential’ examples because there wasn’t enough hard evidence in the interview to confirm that he’d used them (Kirsty Young isn’t an accredited HPB consultant, after all!). However, the success of Tesco under his leadership is undisputed, so there’s a high chance that he did use the behaviours consistently at a high level.

Here are the examples. The HPBs are in italics:

Discussing his leadership style:

Developing People: “I tried to coach people to get the best out of them.”

Building Confidence: “I always wanted to make people feel better about themselves to build their confidence.”

Proactivity: “I was relatively quiet, I think, as a leader. I didn’t use to send lots of memos around, or emails, and that was unsettling for some people. But they came to understand that I was trusting them to do their job.”

On the Tesco Clubcard:

Information Search:” Loyalty cards … allow you to understand more about a person so you can offer the products, services and information [to be] more useful to that person.”

Influence (continuing from the Information Search comment above): “In that way, if the person can see something useful, personal, helpful in some small way, it gradually builds loyalty.”

Presentation: “If you think about a doctor, they have to know something about the patient in order for them to do their best work. The more you know about a customer – how they shop, when they shop – you can do a better job for them.”

Influence: “You can either do good or bad [with customer knowledge]. What you have to do is be careful that you’re actually creating things that are beneficial to them, that you’re not manipulating the customer.”

Customer Action (When challenged that surely a company is there to ‘reward its shareholders and make money… having its shareholders’ interests at heart’): “The best organisations do put their customers at the heart and I think we were able to persuade our owners, our shareholders that the best way for them to get a return was by improving shopping for customers.”

We’ll be following Sir Terry’s next ventures with interest.

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