Have you crossed this leadership line?
How do you know you’re an effective leader? What if there was a way to measure how much of your leadership potential is coming through? A few weeks ago, I found myself face to face with the such a measurement of my own leadership that brought me a deep shift in self awareness and an objective look at my leadership development, my strengths and a development road map to become a more effective leader and coach. The assessment was The Leadership Circle Profile (LCP).
I thought I knew my style. I’ve been through lots of assessments in my many years as a coach and I realize now those tools measured my preferences not my development. I knew it before but I know it now in a new deeper way that I couldn’t have known without going through the LCP. The kicker was this assessment presented me all this awareness in one picture, not a thick 360 degree report. This sample of the model shows you a black line for you rate yourself and the coloured areas for how your “raters” scored your development. Quite the picture.
I regularly work with leaders seeking to become more proactive and strategic leaders. Its been a challenge to help those clients get objectively clear on where they are starting from and to identify their development path. The LCP introduced me to looking at leadership from a new perspective - stages of development with a line in between – helping identify areas of development from the Reactive realm and a higher level of development in the Creative (or Proactive) realm.
There are two distinct sides to leadership. Creative and Reactive. One is effective, the other not so much. Reactive Leadership has underlying strengths depending on your style of controlling, protecting or complying. And research conducted by The Leadership Circle shows that Leadership Effectiveness is positively correlated to Business Performance and Creative Leadership is highly correlated to Leadership Effectiveness.
Reactive* leaders sound like this:
- I am my relationships. I am my achievements. They define me
- Externally validated worth
- Self defined from the outside in
- Authority vested in an invaluable guide outside of self
- Meaning and worth are found in faithful adherence to role. I am either controlling authority or careful follower
- Vision defined by others
- Defensive when challenged - facts by aggression or withdrawal
Creative* Leaders sound like this:
- I am not my relationships or achievements. I have them. They do not have me
- Internally validated worth
- Independent whole self defined from within
- Authority comes from within and is granted to others (shared)
- Meaning found in self-expression, responsibility and co-creation
- Self-authority capacity for vision and independent action with self-correction
- Maintains sense of self in conflict. Inquires into other’s perspective, empathizes and authentically responds.
In this process, I found that there is a big difference in thinking I know where my development is and actually measuring it. As it turns out, I have development on both sides of the Creative and Reactive line and more Reactive than I’d like to admit. Surprisingly, some of it was not what I expected; yet when I reflect deep down, I know its true and I have some work to do and a road map to help me get there.
Change and transformation is life-long. Being a leader isn’t only going through a massive career change, it also asks you to take on a personal transformation in your development as a human being. The work is to see our strategies and the beliefs that run them. It requires us to claim our true gifts and let go of safety and identity. It requires an upgrade of your leadership operating system, an evolution in your thinking through self-awareness and personal development.
What side of the line are you on?
* Source: The Leadership Circle.