Three Constructs for Good Leadership

Posted on October 17, 2011 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

Oftentimes the basic fundamentals of leadership are described quite succinctly as simply fulfilling a list of tasks such as this job description below. It says nothing about quality leadership or having the elite credentials of a proven and skilled leader. Therefore, does just fulfilling one’s duties as outlined in a job description make for great leadership qualities?

Office Leadership

    • Manage office staff
    • Identify training opportunities and provide staff training as needed
    • Provide timely performance feedback
    • Maintain good client records
    • Foster good communications – provide and receive regular feedback regarding client projects, what’s happening in the company, etc.
    • Maintain professional credentials.  Stay abreast of industry trends and HR / I/O practices
    • Ensure quality and integrity of data

I read over the transcripts and slide show presentation from a webinar we hosted in 2010 called, “The Search for Worthy Leadership,” Featuring speakers:

  • Dale Thompson, founder and CEO of “Leadership Worth Following” (LWF) and licensed psychologist
  • Elizabeth Gibson, executive consultant for “Leadership Worth Following” (LWF)
  • Sharon Parker, director and senior consultant for TNS Employee Insights

Here are some very interesting viewpoints I learned about “Worthy Leadership” and what that means.

Dominance drives leadership.

This is partially true, when we allow dominant personalities to lead. However, it turns out that about half the CEOs in the Fortune 10 have low dominant scores.

Regarding dominant leaders, Elizabeth Gibson of LWF says, “We simply allow the dominant people to lead because they have forceful personalities to begin with, but she says that’s not the nature of worthy leadership. It’s the difference between “bossing” and “leading.” Gibson expounds, “If we look at who becomes leaders, part of it’s accounted for because their personality made them do it. They’re high on dominance. The other part is secondly, they wanted to become leaders. If you are dominant, and you want to lead, we guarantee that you are going to be a very bold person. But what’s interesting here, is why do we want them? They want to lead and we let them. And if you think about the last time you were driving to work or driving around the city, and coming up to a light, and someone overtakes you from the left lane, are you the one who zooms in and cuts in at the end? Usually it’s the high dominance people who are in the left lane. And usually, I’m in the middle lane, and I get in the other lane once in a while to feel what it’s like, but when we basically let these people in a sense, run over us at times. But think about one of those high dominance people that wants to lead but doesn’t have the capacity, the commitment or the character needed in that role. The easiest thing is to get out of their way. The easiest thing is to let the space build and let “the car” come in.  But is that the nature of worthy leadership? Actually, we don’t think so.”

According to Leadership Worth Following, “A good leader and one who is worthy of leadership is one whose team follows him/her passionately.” These good leaders embrace and possess the following 3 constructs:

3 Major Constructs of the Worthy Leadership Model

1. The Capacity to Lead

Capacity to reason and make good decisions
Critical thinking and decision making; numerical and financial acumen

Capacity to see and realize the future
Seeing the future; strategic and execution excellence, global acumen

Capacity to communicate and influence
Inspiration and influence; conflict management; leadership presence

Capacity to know
Job and industry knowledge; business knowledge

Capacity to persevere and adapt
Energy, adaptability, and humor

2. The Commitment to Lead

Commitment to excellence
Defines success; passion for results

Commitment to people and relationships
Building talent; diversity and culture; interpersonal effectiveness

Commitment to learning and personal growth
Insatiable curiosity; self-awareness and development

Commitment to stakeholders
Customers; team members; the organization; shareholders; the community

3. The Character to Lead

Personal integrity and ethics
Personal integrity; ethics; openness

Organizational integrity and courage
Organizational integrity; courage, power

Humility, gratitude and forgiveness
Humility, gratitude; forgiveness

LWF believes strongly that this is the recipe that makes for good leadership. There is a style of bringing visions forward, working with others, and acting with social responsibility in such a way that no matter what your level and what your role, you can bring the concept of worthy leadership for the benefit of all stakeholders. LWF does not anoint charismatic leaders or idolizes them. LWF advocates a style of leadership that makes companies and stakeholders better.

LWF has noted that leadership which has failed seemed to be missing in different amounts is something they call the commitment to lead and the character to lead. The commitment to lead has to do with some conventional wisdom; skills and the things that people can do, but what LWF looks at more and more, is what they WANT to do. Most leaders want to lead. According to Dr. Thompson, “…It turns out that we can certainly identify, measure and relate those things into outcomes that are important. So, the commitment to lead is reasonably refocused here and what we find historically is that the capacity to lead and the commitment to lead may account for as much as 85% of success.”

LWF finds that when the idea of what makes leadership worthy, people go straight to a person’s integrity. There is personal integrity and ethics to uphold, but what about integrity of the organization? What many failed leaders “may have done wrong is not make sure that the organization stood for what it said it stood for, and that’s a different kind of integrity and more than that it’s also measurable, scalable, and predicts things that are more important such as catastrophic failure.”

What do you think makes for good leadership?

For more information and a copy of the presentation or webinar transcripts, please write and I will send them to you.


TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

About TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)

Great companies know that it takes highly engaged employees to retain customers and make their brand promise come alive. To make the connection between your employees, customers and brand, you need a partner with deep expertise across several areas. Only KANTAR TNS has over two decades of employee survey experience, as well as access to the consultative and research resources of the world’s largest customer satisfaction benchmark database and brand analytics research. Whether you have 200 employees or 200,000, Kantar TNS has the expertise and the advanced measurement, reporting, and follow up tools you need to deliver on your employee and customer brand promise.

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