The Diamond Process: How to Fix Your Organization and Effectively Lead People

The Diamond Process: How to Fix Your Organization and Effectively Lead People


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Effective Leadership—It’s a Process

Good leadership is about more than inspiring people. Effective leadership stands on two pillars: excellent people and efficient processes. Through well-tested models and a series of structured metrics, The Diamond Process will help you identify weak points in your work flow so that you can retroactively fix your organization and make it more efficient.

Using the Diamond Process Model, you'll learn how to—
IDENTIFY and REFINE your organization’s key drivers or primary motivations.
INTEGRATE resources like people, equipment, and funding with the processes that achieve the key drivers.
BALANCE the key drivers, resources, and processes.
CREATE new processes for long-term SUCCESS.

​Authors Mike Diamond and Chris Harding pull on their considerable experience in the corporate and military worlds to share a wholly innovative approach to effective leadership. Whether you are a small business owner or a shift manager, The Diamond Process will help you transform your organization and lead your team more effectively.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626343924
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press
Publication date: 04/18/2017
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Mike Diamond has parlayed over 40 years of leadership experience in the military and corporate sectors into the publishing of The Diamond Process: How to Fix Your Organization and Effectively Lead People. Additionally, he has founded Diamond Strategy Group, which provides fixes for organizations and aids in improving skills for leading people and processes. He has been a mentor/trainer/coach/facilitator in most of his military and civilian roles. He brings this wealth of experience in military, manufacturing, retail, consulting, IT and many other sectors to help improve performance in organizations.
Mike is a retired Major General that has led over 27,000 military members in combat support operations in the Middle East and led the first force rotation. Additionally, he has served two tours at US Central Command (CENTCOM) as the Deputy Director of Logistics and Director of Coalition Coordination Center.He is also working on a second book that details how to become a complete leader that should be released in early 2018. 
Christopher R. Harding is a 23-year veteran who is currently serving as an Acquisition Program Manager at Tinker Air Force Base, OK. In 1992, he was awarded Eagle Scout by the Birmingham Area Council. He graduated the University of Alabama in 2008 with a BS in Entrepreneurship and is pursuing a master's degree in administrative leadership at Oklahoma University.
Chris has served as a Navy air traffic controller, a network administrator in the Alabama National Guard, and as an officer in the Air Force. Prior to his current assignment as a program manager, Chris led over 250 Airmen at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, working as an aircraft maintenance officer for the MQ-1B Predator program. There he had numerous deployments, including supporting flight operations at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan.

Read an Excerpt

The Diamond Process

How to Fix Your Organization and Effectively Lead People

By Mike J. Diamond, Christopher R. Harding

Greenleaf Book Group Press

Copyright © 2017 Michael J. Diamond and Christopher R. Harding
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62634-392-4



In the introduction, we presented some examples of poor leaders. But what constitutes good leaders? What do they look like? How do they act? Who is best suited to be a leader? How can I tell whether or not I work for a good leader? If I am in a leadership position, what should I do? These are all fair questions to ask as we set out to create good leaders.

As you will hear from us time and time again, there is a process for everything, including the process to become a good leader. When we think of a person who is a good leader, we imagine someone with good character and a solid foundation of moral traits and ethical behavior.

On top of this foundation, a good leader also has a keen perspective and an eye for balance. Once you put all of this together in one package, you have yourself a complete leader. There is a process to becoming a complete leader, and we'd like to share that with you.

Since everyone has unique past experiences that give us all different perceptions, we need to start our discussion with a common understanding of terms so we can all play from the same sheet of music. There is a need here for a formal discussion, because there is a process to becoming a complete leader, and that process demands that we cannot simply do this "off the cuff."

In this book we refer to the term leader or informal leader as anyone who feels they are a leader. If you think of yourself as a leader, then we are talking about you. Positional leaders or supervisors are people who occupy formal leadership positions in an organization, such as a first-line supervisor or senior executive.

Anyone in an organization can be a leader, but most are informal leaders, meaning they do not get paid to supervise. The terms worker, employee, and subordinate refer to those individuals who work for the positional leader in an organization; those terms are used interchangeably in this book.

The first type of balance we will discuss encompasses the entire organization. A balanced approach to organizational leadership is crucial for anyone striving to be a complete leader. If a senior positional leader overmanages one area of an organization too much, the other areas will suffer from neglect.

Balance at the organizational level of leadership is also important for understanding both the present and the future of your company. Some leaders focus on current operations and fail to set goals for the future; this type of imbalance is dangerous because it is a nearsighted approach that can prevent the business from growing.

Leaders who are focused on the future of the company conduct strategic planning sessions, analyze external market conditions, and formulate visionary strategies. Without analyzing the future of a business, leaders will not be able to take advantage of opportunities that may arise. They will be more susceptible to external threats as they have never prepared for the future environment.

On the other hand, some leaders focus too much on what they want to achieve in the future and lose sight of the current state of their company. This type of imbalance is equally dangerous, because if a company fails to perform, it may not be around to see the future.

By maintaining proper focus on current operations, leaders will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the company and understand why the organization is performing or lacking in certain areas. These insights will aid planning, both in the current state of the business as well as the future.

Ultimately the balanced organizational approach to leading ensures that leaders have the right information. This information in turn enables sound judgment and quality decision making. By maintaining an overall balanced approach to leading a company, a leader can ensure the organization is healthy in its entirety.

The complete leader also possesses a second type of balance at the personal level when dealing with subordinates: a balance of influence. It is impossible to talk about influence without talking about power, so here goes.

There are two types of power we need to briefly discuss. The first is legitimate power, which is formal authority that comes with a position such as first-line supervisor (French & Raven, 1958). If you do something because your boss told you to, then your boss used legitimate power to influence you.

The second type of power is called referent power. Referent power emerges over time as you form positive, meaningful relationships with other people (French & Raven, 1959). Referent power is much stronger than legitimate power and can be acquired by anyone, not just supervisors. If you ask a coworker for help and that person aids you because you have developed a strong personal relationship with them, then you have influenced that person with referent power.

Although complete leaders rely more on referent power, they do understand the important balance between responsibility and legitimate power. Organizations legitimize positional leaders by empowering them with the authority, or legitimate power, to perform their assigned duties.

In order for organizations to be effective, positional leaders must then be held accountable for performing these duties or responsibilities within the position. Positional leaders must align their priorities with what is best for the organization. They must also make sound decisions based on ethics, morals, and company policy.

The complete leader also recognizes when there is an imbalance between the responsibilities assigned and the level of legitimate power or authority needed to perform his or her duties. Too little authority can undermine the positional leader and make them appear to subordinates as being weak or incompetent, as they do not have enough legitimate power to fulfill their normal duties as a supervisor.

For example, Chris was tasked by his Air Force senior leader to gain engineering approval to perform a critical flight test for an aircraft navigation device. His boss gave him only one week to gain the approval, which was quite a restraint.

The normal process for gaining this type of approval took at least six months. Chris recognized an imbalance between responsibility and legitimate power, even though he already had built a high level of referent power with other workers. In this instance, Chris did not have the legitimate power to reprioritize the work of his coworkers to accommodate his urgent need and work his task first.

Chris recognized that without a reprioritization of the other workers' tasks, there was no way to gain an engineering approval in the allotted time. Once he communicated this imbalance to his senior leader, the boss sent an email to the entire organization and informed them that Chris was personally working on his behalf; he also told them they should treat Chris as they would the senior leader himself. This one email gave Chris enough legitimate power to ask others to give his project priority, which allowed him to accomplish the task on time.

Leaders work best when they are assigned responsibility and legitimate power in somewhat equal amounts (Yukl, 2010). The more responsibility a positional leader has, the more legitimate power he or she will need. A complete leader will recognize an imbalance between power and responsibility, if one exists, and take steps to remedy the situation.

Complete leaders will also use their delegated authority to benefit the organization. They will use legitimate power when fulfilling the assigned duties of the organization and nothing more. The complete leader relies on referent power to influence others and leverages strong relationships to get things done.

Eisenhower's thoughts about leadership reinforce this concept: "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."

Subordinates expect positional leaders to use legitimate power to make necessary decisions. If a positional leader fails to do so, he or she creates a dangerous imbalance between leader behavior and worker expectations. If this imbalance occurs, supervisors can easily find themselves losing respect and morale from their subordinates.

Even worse, if the leader fails to make a decision that is necessary, workers may feel as though it is the responsibility of the workers themselves. This lack of action by the positional leader creates confusion, as no one is sure who should take the responsibility and make the decision. This scenario can result in power-jockeying if more than one person thinks they should be the one to act.

In his witty short called "A Responsibility Poem" about a fourperson team, Charles Osgood characterizes this perfectly (quotation marks added):

There was an important job to do and "Everybody" was asked to do it. "Everybody" was sure that "Somebody" would do it. "Anybody" would have done it, but "Nobody" did it. "Somebody" got angry because it was "Everybody's" job. "Everybody" thought "Anybody" would do it, but "Nobody" realized that "Anybody" wouldn't do it.

We have found that many positional leaders are continually asking themselves, "Should I, could I, would I?" when it comes to making decisions, accepting responsibilities, and leading people. The effective leader is usually more aggressive and asks for forgiveness rather than permission when it comes to responsibility. This approach usually garners more respect and esteem from their workers as a result.

Although exercising legitimate power is necessary for positional leaders to maintain balance and fulfill assigned responsibilities, the complete leader utilizes referent power to the maximum extent possible. For this reason, it is important for leaders to develop positive and meaningful relationships with workers.

It is impossible to be a complete leader by possessing only positional or legitimate power. Using only legitimate power, a supervisor can tell a subordinate to perform a task, and it will likely happen. But once the task is accomplished, the worker will stop any further activity. If the supervisor had strong referent power with the worker, then the subordinate would be more committed to the task, which would likely increase the quality of the work.

If the leader had strong referent power, the employee would also be more likely to provide feedback to the supervisor if there were any problems along the way. The worker would also communicate if there was a better way to accomplish the task or if the worker discovered new information that would benefit the supervisor or the organization. Without referent power, the positional leader would likely get no feedback.

Following this event, Mike garnered a tremendous amount of respect and esteem from members at all levels of the organization. He demonstrated balance as a complete leader by making necessary changes that were needed at that time for the organization.

He also showed courage for setting aside personal apprehensions in his willingness to make tough decisions. He led by example and illustrated for leaders throughout the organization the appropriate application of power as it relates to responsibility.

Mike also built referent power from subordinates as he showed the ability to lead in accordance with the best interests of the organization. His actions proved he cared deeply about the organization and its members, and people related to him on a strong personal level because of their shared commitment.

Subordinates tend to recognize the effectiveness of their leaders through actions and decisions they make. "Do as I say, not as I do" leadership tends to weaken a leader's rapport with subordinates. Complete leaders always lead by example. Failing to do so will ruin your credibility.

Overall, subordinates know what right looks like when it comes to leadership, and they know even more what right doesn't look like. Satisfying leader performance expectations from subordinates — such as being fair, walking the talk, and leading by example — is key to maintaining balance for a complete leader.

We have taken a moment to talk balance as it relates to the organization as a whole, balance with the individual leader's influence on other people, and balance between positional authority and responsibility. This was necessary because you can't be a complete leader without this understanding. But there is another critical aspect to the complete leader that we argue most leaders, both formal and informal, are lacking: the ultimate balance between people and processes.


There is an age-old adage in the leadership community that states, "Leaders lead people and manage processes." We argue that complete leaders must lead both. Since people are involved in executing processes, the process itself must be led.

Positional leaders must define processes extensively, record processes, train workers to utilize the process, apply appropriate resources to the process, instill process discipline, and continually monitor the performance of the process. In our experience, most organizations fail to lead processes in one or more of these areas.

Some organizations simply do not have established processes whatsoever; this means the people are the process. Let's say at your current company you need to file a travel voucher from a recent business trip, and when you ask the finance department for assistance someone responds, "Oh, John takes care of that and he's not here today." In this organization, the process for filing a travel voucher is John. If there was a clearly defined process and people were trained on the process, then anyone in the finance department could assist you.

Lack of process leadership creates inefficiencies in an organization. In this scenario, you now have to take two days to process a travel voucher instead of one. What if John does not return tomorrow? What if John gets sick for two weeks? Who will take his place? The new "John" will have to establish his or her own process and "reinvent the wheel," or wait until John gets back to work.

If this is your organization, then you probably already know that filing a travel voucher is not the only process that lacks leadership. If there are fifty other processes like this one that have no process definition, the inefficiencies compound on top of each other and your organization is a breeding ground for chaos. This is why process is the path that leads to order, balance, and results. For that reason, we argue that when people think of leadership, they should be thinking process as well as people.

Leaders lead primarily two things: people and processes. If a leader wrote down everything he or she does on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, most actions would fall under these two categories. We've found in our experience and formal leadership training that most people are taught to lead people but to leave processes to someone else.

Before we delve into talking about why process leadership is lacking, we must pause to acknowledge that there are two types of leaders out there. Some of you (like Chris) are better at writing than math, are more extroverted, and have considerable social and people skills. If this sounds like you, then consider yourself a right-brained person for the purposes of this discussion. Right-brained is a term psychologists use to describe people with a predisposition to sensory-based activities and who prefer to do things because they "feel good."

On the other end of the spectrum are our left-brained folks. These are the analytical types of people (like Mike) who are usually engineers, technical experts, and are better at math than the rest of us. These leaders prefer calculated activities that result in an empirical answer, and they like to do things because they make sense or provide an absolute solution. If you like the fact that 2+2 always equals 4, then consider yourself a left-brained person for this discussion.

We do acknowledge that these are two ends of the spectrum and there are all sorts of people in between. But the basic premise of our argument is that people are predisposed in a certain way that makes them gravitate toward certain things and avoid others.

From our experiences, we've seen more right-brained types of people in positional leadership positions. This is likely due to several reasons, one of which is the fact that supervisors have to deal with people, and the right-brained folks out there tend to gravitate toward situations that include dealing with people.


Excerpted from The Diamond Process by Mike J. Diamond, Christopher R. Harding. Copyright © 2017 Michael J. Diamond and Christopher R. Harding. Excerpted by permission of Greenleaf Book Group Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

1 The Effective Leader 11

Major Section 1 Elements of the Diamond Process Model

2 Mission, Vision, Goals, and Objectives 33

3 Lines of Business 47

4 The Nature of Work 61

5 Groups and Individuals 85

6 Resources 107

Major Section 2 Using The Diamond Process Model

7 The Diamond Process Model 125

8 DPM: The Method to the Method 141

9 The Ivory Tower 155

10 At the Heart of the Matter 171

11 Where the Rubber Meets the Road 189

12 The Helping Hands 211

13 Three Invaluable Resources: People, Money, and Equipment 233

14 Measuring Up to Check Your Work 251

Major Section 3 Getting the Most Out of the Diamond Process Model

15 Using the Diamond Process Model to Make Better Decisions 263

16 Six Game-Changing Applications 281

Bibliography 301

Index 303

About the Author 311

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