Working SMART: Library of Congress ISSN 1551-4633
Pursuit of "Good to Great" Leadership
What is it? How do you pursue it?
In the business best seller Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't, author Jim Collins explores common elements to eleven publicly traded companies that made a transformation from good performance to at least fifteen years of outperforming the market by a factor of seven.
As the book explores the elements of leadership common to all of the Good To Great companies, there is one trait that is conspicuous by its absence: a celebrity CEO. The high profile styles of "Chainsaw Al" Dunlap, Lee Iacocoa, or Jack Welch were conspicuously missing from the profiled companies. Instead, the Good to Great companies all possessed what Collins calls Level Five Leadership. (Link to the 5 levels defined). In short, they are modern day personifications of Abraham Lincoln. They exhibit a combination two rare traits: (more).
While Collins' attributes of leadership greatness are fascinating and insightful, what do we do with this knowledge? Are there ways to either develop these traits or recognize them in the leaders we hire and promote?
Three Steps to Gaining Level 5 leadership Attributes
Is "Level 5" a Realistic Pursuit?
I must confess that I personally do not possess all of the attributes of a Level 5 Leader. Your first clue is my photo splashed across the top of this page. Good to Great author Jim Collins has also admitted that he's not there either. These Lincoln-like leadership attributes are a rare combination. However, armed with an admiration and appreciation of how these attributes can make us more effective, combined with the knowledge of where we are deficient and a process for continuous development of our emotional intelligence, we can progress toward the next level of personal and professional effectiveness. Measurable improved results are a proven and natural by-product.
Through the merging of behavioral science and internet technology, we are able to assess measure the attributes in the three categories described above. This allows you to determine how you and your leaders measure up to the requirements of their position. Our methods and their application are described in greater detail at executivetalentassessments.com
Tom Lemanski of Vista Development serves as a Business Catalyst and Executive Coach working with clients in a variety of industries to strategically develop their key performers.
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• Working SMART: Library of Congress ISSN 1551-4633
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