THE FOUR TOOLS
One of the most critical decisions in creating The Definitive Guide to Leadership Competencies was the selection of which development tools to include in the first edition. The four tools that were selected for inclusion were chosen because of their foundational role in the leadership development process.
Simply stated, someone will not be able to improve or adopt a new leadership competency until they:
1. Can clearly see the end picture of what it looks like for a leader to do that competency well.
2. Understands the beliefs that motivate, guide, and direct the leaders that do that leadership competency well.
3. Knows the behaviors they have to either start or stop doing to be more like the leaders who do that competency well.
4. Can receive clear feedback for where and how they specifically can improve.
The four tools selected for this first edition of The Definitive Leadership Competencies Guide help accomplish each of those four development process needs. With these four tools in hand individual leaders, leadership coaches, and organizations have the foundation resources they need to begin building strong and effective leadership today. Let’s understand a little more about each of the tools provided.
TOOL 1: WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
People have to see the end from the beginning. Until they know where they are going they can never hope to get there. The same is as true for leadership development as it is with a summer road trip. The first step in any leadership development effort needs to be to describe the end goal. What does it actually look like when a leader does that competency very well? This is the purpose of The Definitive Leadership Competencies Guide tool “What it Looks Like.” The purpose was not to define in perfect detail every nuance, but to give a broad brushstroke to help a leader grasp the overall vision. Because leaders can’t hit a performance target until they know where they are aiming “What it looks like,” was the first of the four tools selected for inclusion in this first edition.
TOOL 2: FOUNDATIONAL BEHAVIORS
The most overlooked truth in leadership competency development is that there is more required to learning a new competency than what a leader does on the outside. Leaders to what they do because of what is on the inside, or because of what they believe. What a leader believes determines what they do, what they don’t do, when they do it, how they do it, and why they do it. No leader can truly master a new leadership competency unless they adopt some or all of the beliefs held by those who do it well. This is the role of the tool “Foundational Beliefs.”
This tool is not an attempt to capture every belief, or to declare those that are most important. It is a representation of some of the core beliefs and principles that are critical to lay the necessary next level foundation for leadership development. Because leadership development only truly happens when you start from the inside, at the level of a persons beliefs, and then work your way outwards towards actions, “Foundational Beliefs” were the second tool selected for inclusion in The Definitive Leadership Competencies Guide.
TOOL 3: OBSERVABLE BEHAVIORS
Every leadership competency can be broken down into specific behaviors. Behaviors are the visible actions you can actually see someone perform. Behaviors are what we observe leaders doing on the outside, in contrast to their foundational beliefs. These behaviors represent what you would actually see a leader doing who performed a leadership competency well. The behaviors listed are not intended to be all encompassing, but to represent behaviors what would commonly be associated with a leader who did each competency well.
In terms of their value to leadership development, behaviors provide the fastest road individuals can take to pinpoint what they should be doing but aren’t, or what they are doing but shouldn’t. Often times expensive and time intensive classes and workshops can be replaced with simple discussions about needed changes in practical leadership behavior. Because they represent the practical application of a leadership competency “Foundational Behaviors” were the third tool selected for inclusions in The Definitive Leadership Competencies Guide.
TOOL 4: PSYCHOMETRIC 360 QUESTIONS
One of the keys to effective leadership development is effective assessment and feedback from those a leader works with each day. These are the people who know their strengths and weaknesses best. People see themselves differently than other people do. Feedback is the pivotal tool in helping leaders know where they can improve and how they can improve. 360 surveys, or surveys that ask for feedback on a leader from their subordinates, peers, and superiors, are one of the most prominent forms of providing holistic feedback to leaders in organizations today. This leadership tool provides questions that can effectively be used to assess and then give feedback on how well a leader does each leadership competency. Because of their ability to provide thorough and actionable feedback “Psychometric 360 Questions” were the fourth and final tool selected to be included in the first edition of The Definitive Leadership Competencies Guide.
Each of their tools were specifically chosen because of the key role they play in the best in class leadership development processes.
One of the things that differentiates them is the idea of "Foundation Behaviors." They provide you tools that grow leaders from the inside out, instead of the outside in.