Essential Leadership Development
Stage 1: Assess for Awareness
Assessments help leaders better their self-awareness and performance. The basis for this stage is the ESSENTIAL Assessment, which includes three Hogan assessments – the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), Hogan Development Survey (HDS), and Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI). These results are then mapped to the ESSENTIAL Leadership Competency Model to provide a comprehensive overview of the potential of a leader and where he or she stands out and can improve.
The ESSESNTIAL 360-Degree Feedback Assessment provides observations from supervisors, colleagues, and direct reports about how the leader is noticed in currently demonstrating the behaviors outlined in the ESSENTIAL Leadership Competency Model. Collectively this information can motivate an executive to become more aware of how he or she is perceived and to make improvements in leadership style and practices.
The Experience, Skills, and Knowledge Self-Assessment is a custom-designed evaluation based on updated leadership profiles for current and future roles within the organization. The leader evaluates the depth and breadth of their current abilities and leverages to information to gain proficiency, add new capabilities, and increase comprehension.
Stage 2: Analyze Results and Identify Priorities
The report – explained in a one-on-one feedback session with an executive coach – serves as the basis for the executive to understand what factors and traits encourage and inhibit success and career growth. Each competency potential rating is based on Hogan scales, which in combination are most predictive of each of the ESSENTIAL competencies. The information, gleaned from looking at the competency algorithms, helps an executive gain insight into his or her day-to-day tendencies, behaviors during critical periods of stress, and performance drivers, all of which impact the capacity to lead.
The coach and executive are then able to work together to identify areas of priority. Some of the questions that are asked at this stage include:
- What are my greater career goals or aspirations? Am I prepared to meet them?
- What experience, skills & knowledge gaps do I have?
- What competencies and personality traits are my strongest to leverage for greater career success? Which traits might be limiting my success and need addressing?
- What am I motivated to change in the next 12 to 18 months? For the long term?
- What support will I need? Who will help me?
By reviewing assessment results, organizational opportunities’, and career goals, the executive is able to formally prioritize areas to focus on continued development. Since it is difficult to work on numerous development goals at once, this stage focuses on identifying the 2 – 3 development goals that will have the most impact.
Stage 3: Draft a Leadership Growth Plan
The coach and executive work together to create a Leadership Growth Plan with clearly delineated steps for change and improvement, most of which can be self-directed. Reading, mentoring, community service, and networking are some of the suggested activities.
Action items for the plan should use the well-known SMART principles: Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic, and Time-bound. The more specific and tangible the development goals are, the stronger the outcome is likely to be. Meanwhile, the most important factor to be considered is how to achieve the greatest growth and development.
Questions to be considered during this stage include:
- What will success look like?
- How will I track growth and development?
- When and how often should I meet with my supervisor or mentor?
- How will I know if the actions taken are having the right impact?
- How will I document and report the required learning, application, and behavior change?
Stage 4: REview And Renew
At regular intervals following the development of the Leadership Growth Plan, the executive (with coach or supervisor) can review progress and, if necessary, renew goals and steps. Some key questions to raise:
- What have I learned and applied? What behavior has changed?
- What evidence do I have of growth and change?
- What could I have done to make my development process more effective or rewarding?
- How do I sustain the changes?
Sometimes the hardest part of a Leadership Growth Plan is setting aside time to adhere to it. Executives should think of allocating brief periods of time – as little as 10 to 15 minutes a day – instead of large chunks.
The bottom line at the end of the process is whether change meaningful occurred. If so, how can it be leveraged for further growth? If not, what could have been done differently?
An Executive Development Program is incremental and builds upon itself. Once it has been completed, it can be renewed (either immediately or at a set future point) for continued professional and career growth.