Effective leaders have realistic assessments of their own abilities. Studies show that a high self-awareness score is the strongest predictor of overall success. However, looking in the mirror is never easy, but this is where mountains are scaled.
Leaders need to uncover where they stand now and how this current frame of reference affects their role in leadership. There is no greater loss than not living up to potential. Understanding self is an essential building block for any future success.
Imagine what being a leader would be like with an instruction manual. What wouldn’t leaders be able to accomplish without a road map to the inner workings of their own brain and emotions?
Everyone has pre-determined attributes that run alongside an entire spectrum of an inner being that changes and adapts through growth and development. How one faces difficult decisions, reacts to new ideas and is influenced by experience and environment is filled with opportunity. Leadership Foundry gets leaders on the path to self discovery.
A customer sought a way to address a growing concern and feedback that a significant portion of leaders in the organization were not demonstrating the vital leadership attributes of creativity, flexibility and initiative. Specific feedback was a majority of their leaders relied too much on methods that worked in another place at another time when trying to build teams and provide overall leadership, but did not currently work well. And, most significantly, higher-level leaders were stifling the initiative of junior ones through micromanagement and implementation of policies to reduce risk.
What we determined was the organization lacked setting expectations for and formalized development of fundamental leadership skills.
We then developed a series of seminars for different levels of leadership challenges; the intent was to address several significant issues:
Our program addressed these issues by seeking to provide empirical data to establish the behavioral preferences throughout the organization and do so within a 2 ½-day seminar. The program was led by experienced leaders conversant in organizational leadership challenges and combined the use of multiple psychological testing instruments with practical skill application of the individual results. The use and integration of multiple instrument results was used to provide a rich self-assessment of the personality types, provided a common language for and produced a better appreciation of others and how to better lead and influence them. The program also introduced the concept of diversity of thought, showing how it is essential for a strong organization and proving the worth of fostering and developing all types of personalities within an organization. For example, it was shown the organization had more intuitive-thinking people among its lower levels than at the upper levels; and worse, too much of the junior talent continue to leave the organization out of disillusionment with its rigidity and risk aversion.
With a long-term effort and consistent leadership development training the organization can now show the success of implementing this program. The ROI is not only short-term in the atypically high ratings the seminars receive (the average “value-added” rating the participants give the program is 4.9/5.0 with an “N” that is >10,000), but feedback from participants, 9-12 months post seminars, is 95% say they use what they learned.
When specifically asked what made the program so much more powerful than previous leadership courses the universal response was: Most leadership training talks about the “ideal” leader, which would be great if we lived in an “ideal” world, but we don’t. This was the first course that realistically addressed the diversity of human behavior that informs us about our own and others’ behavior that seldom fits any “ideal.” And as other previous courses, they are okay, but little of it was about YOU as a leader and instead was a parade of briefings about equal opportunity, diversity, grievance procedures, etc., such that by the time it was through, the attendee almost had the sense that it could be re-named the “Stuff we can confirm we told you before we put you in a leadership position so we can hold you and you alone accountable for screwing it up when you do” course.
In sum, the participants say the benefits of the program are: