July 20, 2010
Research suggests they will be more successful developing 3-4 World Class behavioural strengths that really make a difference. This comes from a fascinating book The Extraordinary Leader by Zenger and Folkman (2009) which, based on extensive research, identifies sixteen key leadership behaviours that differentiate World Class leaders. They also posit it is a myth to focus on weaknesses, that is unless those weaknesses are a ‘fatal flaw’, in which case they should be remedied.
I’ve been coaching business leaders for a number of years, and working with another very well researched model of Leadership Behaviours, (Schroder’s High Performance Behaviours) and not surprisingly whilst the clustering of behaviours between Schroder and those of Zenger and Folkman differ, there are many similarities that can be mapped across the two models. For example Zenger and Folkman’s Solving Problems, Analysing Issues and Innovation are very similar to Schroder’s Concept Formation and Conceptual Flexibility; and their Building Relationships can be compared with Schroder’s Empathy and Self-Confidence.
Zenger and Folkman’s model centres around the cluster ‘Character’ and they relate this to Credibility (Kouzes and Posner), Integrity (Bennis), telling the truth (Shaffer) and Principle Centred Leadership (Covey). I would also add in to this list Roger Steare’s (www.rogersteare.com) recent work ‘ethicability®’ which explores rule compliance, social conscience and principled conscience. A free on-line test can be found at www.ethicabilitytest.org
I’ve worked with many organisations who have developed their own leadership behaviour/competency models (often less elegant), and typically the majority of the behaviours can be mapped onto the well researched and validated models such as Schroder or Zenger and Folkman.