Leadership impact is shaped by a combination of a number of factors that play out in the way a leader builds relationships, influences others and accomplishes work. Developing a greater awareness of how these factors work for and against one’s leadership is integral to becoming a more intentional, purpose-driven leader. It can be described as a formula:
LI (leadership impact) = P x VND x KS x S x MA x OC x P
- Personality: These are patterns of thinking and behavior generally shaped early in life and fairly concrete by the time someone moves into a leadership position. In many ways, they determine what is going to be easy for the leader to do and what will need a greater investment of energy. Our preferred instrument is the Hogan Personality series, however, we also use the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
- Values, Needs and Drivers: What beliefs do you carry with you – about people, about work, about life and about relationships? What is important to you? What keeps you engaged even under the most challenging circumstances? Reflection on these questions can help us better understand our impact on others. We often use the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations – Observed (FIRO-B) as one means of helping identify key needs.
- Knowledge and Skills: Leaders need both a solid understanding of business and exposure to the knowledge base of effective leadership. Leadership is a new job and maximum effectiveness can only come from a deep level of knowledge of what it takes to be effective. We can assess the degree of maturity in these areas through on-line 360 degree surveys and/or through interviews with key stakeholders.
- The Situation: One approach to leadership cannot be equally effective in every set of circumstances, and the most effective leaders are the ones who develop the agility to analyze a situation and change his/her approach to one that is most effective at the moment.
- The Manager’s Approach to Leadership: One’s approach to leadership is nearly always affected to some extent by the style of one’s key stakeholder(s). Understanding that style is important for determining when, and when not, to emulate it.
- The Organizational Culture: The culture is both shaped by, and has influence on the members of the organization by communicating what is ok and what is not ok. We have methods for diagnosing and analyzing the organizational culture and you will find more information on the CULTURE web page.
- Your Purpose: The work you do should be contributing to the creation of a tangible life result. A clearly defined sense of personal purpose is what distinguishes a leader who meets objectives from one who makes a difference. Purpose helps deal with uncertainty and ambiguity, helps one determine whether or not a particular role is contributing to continued growth, and keeps one grounded in situations that challenge one’s values and beliefs. Clarifying one’s purpose may be the best investment of time and energy in one’s career.
Without taking this integrated formula into consideration, leadership development efforts can be at best a waste of money and at worst a demotivator.
This formula guides and shapes our leadership development solutions. By pausing to reflect on how each of these factors are contributing to your current level of leadership results, you can better understand why sometimes things seem to easily flow and other times they require an enormous level of effort.
This leads us to two important questions:
- What level of development is needed?
- What is the most effective way to develop it?
Level One Leadership: For high potential individual contributors and new leaders
Level Two Leadership: For functional leaders and business unit leaders
Level Three Leadership: For senior executives
* A note about Grace Hopper
Born in NY in 1906, Grace Hopper overcame multiple glass ceilings and long standing US Navy traditions to retire (for the third and final time) at the age of 80 as one of the few women to achieve the rank of Rear Admiral. In her 42 year naval career, she helped launch the UNIVAC computer, created the computer language COBOL and developed the standards for testing FORTAN and other languages. She died in 1992 and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
“The most important thing I’ve accomplished, other than building the compiler,” she said, “is training young people.” They come to me, you know, and say, ‘Do you think we can do this?’ I say, ‘Try it.’ And I back ’em up. They need that. I keep track of them as they get older and I stir ’em up at intervals so they don’t forget to take chances.”Grace Hopper