Let’s face it: leadership development has been stuck for a long time. The most fundamental questions are still in dispute. For example:
- What is this thing we call leadership?
- Is it genetically hardwired into some people but not others?
- Can great leaders be developed?
If so, what methods really work?
Ironically, these questions persist in the midst of a veritable mountain of printed material. Every bookstore contains dozens, if not hundreds of books on the subject, many written by scholars, but most ghost-written for prominent business, military and governmental leaders. Tens of thousands of articles are available, and the number of speeches on the subject is way beyond counting.
Certainly, leadership is a complex topic. Among the variables in the leadership equation are:
- Individual traits (the leader’s intellectual, psychological, emotional and physical make-up)
- Organisational context (the organisation’s culture, history, structure, etc.)
- Marketplace dynamics (competition, growth, opportunities, etc.)
- Staff characteristics (Are those being led collaborative or antagonistic? Competent or novices?)
- Performance metrics (Can the leader’s impact be quantified?)
These and other factors combine to determine the ultimate success or failure of the leader. The variables are interdependent and difficult to isolate. But complexity doesn’t justify surrender. On the contrary, the study of leadership begs for a more scientific approach. Based on the research and insights contained in the book Extraordinary Leader by Drs Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman, this programme explores the 16 differentiating competencies that contribute to Extraordinary Leadership.
The programme begins with participants taking part in leadership 360 surveys. This profile will uncover leadership strengths and de-railers in order to build a road map for development and a personal action plan.
Rather than the traditional method of leadership development that seeks to spot and fix weaknesses, this programme encourages focus and development on leadership strengths, markedly improving the effectiveness and business performance of senior executives.
Outcomes and subjects covered include:
- Understand how leadership impacts the bottom line, turnover retention and customer satisfaction
- Demystify leadership focusing on key competencies and how they are developed
- Understand the Five Fatal Flaws that derail leaders
- Understand the Five Critical Skill clusters possessed by great leaders
- Appreciate the performance difference of good versus great leaders and how a focus on weakness produces the former and a focus on strengths the later
- Reflect on how to develop the critical leadership competencies needed to become extraordinary
- Measure themselves in the core leadership competencies
And the outcome?
The research found that extraordinary leaders make a greater difference – not just in terms of a “feel good” factor for employees, but also in terms of improved organisational performance including improved management of costs, customer satisfaction and employee retention and commitment.