“Leadership is a set of practices that can be learned by anyone”
We know that this statement, the central premise of The Leadership Practices Inventory and The Leadership Challenge, triggers a whole range of questions, so we’ve aimed to answer some of them here.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help…
Are some people just born better leaders?
To some extent the traits required to be a successful leader exist within all of us. Naturally more so in some, but the ‘leadership gene’ is also nurtured through life experiences and the influence of direct leadership role models.
Our research tells us that leadership can be developed through new experiences, raised awareness and coaching – like any skill, athletic ability or musical talent, leadership must be practiced for it to grow. Leadership is an art that can be learnt through evidence-based coaching and development activity – an approach that puts credibility at the centre of the learning process.
As leadership coaches and consultants, we spend a great deal of time in conversations with business leaders across a variety of industries. We know what matters most to deliver sustained performance is that leaders first pay attention to their own development in five specific leadership practices.
Why choose The Leadership Challenge over any other model?
The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership model has developed over three decades and is constantly being reviewed. Over 1.3 million surveys have been analysed, and over 500 dissertations and research projects have been based on The Five Practices.
The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership model has been measured and validated by the Leadership Practices Inventory – one of the most widely used leadership assessment tools. Ongoing research confirms that leaders who engage in The Five Practices are more effective and more successful. The Five Practices contributes richly to the understanding of leadership and to the development of leadership capabilities.
Why is credibility such a key component of The Leadership Challenge approach?
Leadership excellence is built from a platform of high order values and behaviours that are consistent with who individual leaders really are and what they care about. Leaders set direction, strengthen others, find new ways to take the business forward and recognise great performance. However, none of this leadership activity will have impact on the people who look to them for leadership, or the bottom line, if people do not believe their leader is credible. They simply will not follow. They will take their talent elsewhere.
Talented employees will only choose to engage with those leaders who make genuine and human connections with them – leadership is a relationship.
People want to work for leaders who they can trust, whose perspective they value, who are open-minded and who do what they say they will do.
What is the impact of leadership development on engagement?
The best leaders create great workplaces and the context for talented employees to do their best work. Our research shows that leadership behaviour accounts for 37% of why employees feel engaged at work. This emotional commitment drives effort. Corporate executive board research tells us ‘the search for a high performing work force is synonymous with the search for emotional commitment’.
Why choose the Leadership Practices Inventory over any other 360 tool?
The Leadership Practices Inventory meets rigorous criteria for psychometric testing (unlike internally developed competency surveys). The LPI has demonstrated psychometric properties – including its strong reliability and validity.
We are confident that the LPI helps us understand what it takes to be an effective leader. Studies of the LPI also confirm the relationship between The Five Practices and measurable outcomes, such as satisfaction, employee commitment, and sales performance.
How can I be sure that your coaching will have impact?
Research tells us that leadership coaching effectiveness is not so much a matter of techniques or approach. Rather it is linked to the quality of the coaching relationship; understanding of the world of work and the challenges coachees may be facing and the positive expectations of both coach and coachee.
In our experience the client–coach relationship is the key factor in how results are achieved in coaching. This is why we invest so much time in developing our coaches and commit to working with only those who can understand the nature of leadership, The Leadership Challenge and the importance of fostering relationships based on trust.
In short, our coaches have lived and operated in the real world.
How does your coaching work within the context of a change programme?
Organisational change begins with individuals changing their behaviour. For real change to occur there needs to be both personal and organisational commitment – individual change is at the heart of positivity in business. However, key leaders can be left out of the process as people join in the change programme at different times, either to let others go first, or even to disrupt progress. Many organisational change programmes do not appear to take account of the fact that some members of the leadership team may themselves be resistant to change. It is unlikely that these individuals will change their behaviour without support or because the CEO demands it. Indeed, they may not even be aware of the problem, or see themselves as part of the problem. They do not see their behaviour as others see it. Our coaching addresses this.
Is coaching for senior leaders as well as other leadership roles?
Senior people in organisations are under huge pressure and will have little time to devote to developing key members of their senior team. Most Chief Executives will recognise the need for their principle team members to be driving the change and have little tolerance for those seen be sitting on the ‘side-lines’.
One role of the coaches is to help leaders who resist change but are responsible for leading that change as a member of an executive group. Leaders, facing the unfamiliar challenges of profound change, may need coaching more than anyone else.
Does Leadership Challenge facilitator accreditation give me more than I can get by buying the resources online and teaching myself?
Becoming a Trained Facilitator or a Certified Facilitator are the first two steps to building your skills and expertise in delivering The Leadership Challenge Workshop to participants and delegates.
If you are interested in achieving the highest level of proficiency in all aspects of The Leadership Challenge, we invite you to find out more about becoming part of our Certified Masters community. In our experience the best facilitators and coaches are learners themselves. They challenge themselves to be the best they can, and achieve this with the support of others. It takes a real sense of personal commitment to push yourself to grow and challenge yourself to develop mastery.