We’ve been advocating leveraging success in leadership development by profiling successful leaders and using their behaviors as the basis for developing your organization’s leadership competencies. Once established, we teach these behaviors to other leaders and future leaders in workshops, initially adding only a few additional competencies from our leadership competency library. The library contains the most important behaviors of great leaders – the “soft” skills that make the biggest difference in leaders.
Recently, we were asked a great question about this process: “how do you ensure sufficient breadth of soft capabilities if you’re limiting the leadership competencies to those existing leaders are displaying today and adding only a few new ones to the mix at a time?”
In theory, this is a challenging question. In practice, it’s easy to answer. When we profile existing strong leaders, they always already exhibit several softer capabilities from our leadership competency library. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be great leaders. In many cases, when we help you establish your leadership competencies from behaviors of successful leaders within your organization and from our library, we expand their existing competencies to make them more robust than what their behavioral profiles show. In this way, we are subtly challenging even the most successful leaders to get even better at what they already do well. Do they rise to the challenge? Always.
Think about it. We’re holding out these men and women as great examples of top leaders who should be emulated by others. As they learn the behaviors underlying their success, they try even harder to perform these behaviors well. Who wouldn’t? Tell a leader she is the poster child for success, and she’ll keep trying harder, every time. And it’s just this effect that makes our senior leadership workshops so successful. There’s nothing like seeing even top leaders visibly improve their winning ways. What a big motivator for the rest of the organization!