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Leadership Development Model

Submitted by on Monday, 9 September 2013One Comment

If you need to develop leaders or would like to develop your own leadership capability, then it really pays to have a leadership development model that just works.

This means it needs to be anchored in the reality of:

What leadership really ‘is’,

How to ‘get there’, and

Day-to-day workplace realities.

Unfortunately few leadership models that we have seen achieve all three. We hope that the model we propose further down the page does, though we may be guilty in just a touch of bias in believing so! First…

What is leadership?

The first error made by most organisations or leadership theory is that, well, leadership is exactly that – theory.

A strong leadership model is backed up by empirical research and the research that we like most comes from Kouzes’ and Posner’s The Leadership Challenge.

We’ve explained why before. But the key point, for us, is that their concept of Leadership is based on research from the follower’s perspective.

This is important – because the 5 key practices proposed by Kouzes and Posner are anchored in the followers’ expectations. Do these things consistently, and you would most likely be considered a leader.

How to ‘get there’

The next question is ‘how do we get there’? After all, it’s rare that a person will just suddenly find themselves in a leadership role. Usually, there are intermediate steps of co-operating, co-ordinating and collaborating.

At this point you may find it helpful to refer to the graphic illustrating our Leadership Development Model. (You can download a pdf version here: Leadership Development Model pdf).

Leadership Development Model jpeg

This is important, because leadership development is a process. The five stars are those of teamwork, which happens when we do not lead formally, but collaborate as colleagues. (More details can be found in our Five Star Teams programme).

But let us now work ‘bottom up’ and begin with the day-to-day workplace realities.

Day-to-day workplace realities

The reality of the day-to-day workplace cannot be denied. Stephen Covey characterised our bias to doing work that is proximate (close), pressing, pleasurable and popular (see the graphic above again). This work tends to be in our Comfort Zone.

Unfortunately, as Mr Covey found, this kind of work is often not very productive.

To get into the productivity zone, we need to be clear on our Purpose, be sure that our Physical state is in good health or energised, be clear on our Principles, and then be sure that our Practices mindfully support those Principles.

Red Pill, Blue Pill – or The Choice

For us, this is the difference – the choice betweenthe red pill, and the blue pill in the early scene of The Matrix (hence the colours in the graphic above). By taking the red pill, we choose to move out of the Comfort Zone.

Leadership Training Program Thailand

This leads us to The Choice we make when co-operating with others. We choose our emotions, our attitudes and fundamentally our perceptions of them. We need others’ permission to move to the next level – collaboration. Ironically, this is just like in The Matrix!

So we choose ourselves first, and then we can choose how we can give ourselves when co-operating with others. If you are interested in this level, you may want to have a look at our Emotional Intelligence programme here.

A leadership development model that just works

Our belief is that in tandem, this creates a leadership development model that just works as a whole. It is anchored in reality, it is based on sound research, and has a line of sight from the individual up.

And if you like The Matrix, we’ll be following up this post with how you can apply one very powerful lesson from the first part of the movie to your business… with not a hint of science fiction about it! So sign up below to stay tuned to our email updates!


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One Comment »

  • […] As Aldous Huxley one wrote, liberty is not something given, but taken. A strong leader redresses that imbalance by asking for permission (please see how this concept fits in the ‘co-operate’ phase of our leadership development model here). […]

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