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Excellence L E A D E R S H I P

THE MAGAZINE OF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, MANAGERIAL EFFECTIVENESS, AND ORGANIZATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY

June 2013

Leader Power Cultivate Trust Accelerate Performance

Jane Stevenson Consultant “LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE

IS AN EXCEPTIONAL

WAY TO LEARN AND THEN APPLY THE BEST AND LATEST IDEAS IN THE FIELD OF LEADERSHIP .” —WARREN BENNIS, USC PROFESSOR OF

Pitfalls to Avoid

AUTHOR AND MANAGEMENT

w w w . L e a d e r E x c e l . c o m


succession is not about avoiding mistakes, it is about ensuring future growth. Today’s leading organizations prepare for succession in the C-Suite. Korn/Ferry partners with boards and executive teams to facilitate succession processes for CEO and C-Suite teams, leveraging proprietary tools and consultants who know your business. Is your succession plan in place?

www.kornferry.com


Excellence L E A D E R S H I P

THE MAGAZINE OF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, MANAGERIAL EFFECTIVENESS, AND ORGANIZATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY

VOL. 30 NO. 6

THE GLOBAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT RESOURCE

JUNE 2013

Catch of the Day

Birds of prey, like this osprey eagle, display precision and power as they catch fish. Likewise, leaders of people display dexterity as they accelerate performance.

KEN SHELTON

CHRISTINE COMAFORD

LINDA BYARS SWINDLING

KATHLEEN BRUSH

Leaders on the Move

Five Fatal Mistakes

Stop Complainers

Four Bad Behaviors

Go from here to there. . . . 2

These can scare people to death. . . . . . . . . .7

Turn these people into positive contributors. . . .12

These are particularly damaging for leaders. . . 16

JOSH BERSIN

JESSICA JOHNSON AND DAVE ULRICH

ROBERT GIRLING

Win the Talent Battle

Reap rewards of stability and profitability. . . . . . . .17

JANE STEVENSON

Accelerate Performance

HR Transformation

Take five steps to drive growth. . . . . . . . . 3

Master the art of change management. . . . .8

NIGEL NICHOLSON Strategies for seeing, being and doing. . . . . . . . .4

Cultivate Trust Interactions trigger protection or growth . . . . 9

GLENDA EOYANG Ask yourself three simple questions. . . . . . . . 5

DANIEL DWORKIN AND JOHN BEEDHAM

JD MESSINGER

Ideal Betrayers

Moral Leadership

Hunt out the moles, and mitigate damage. . . .18

What is it, and how do we inspire it?. . . . . . . 14

BRADY MICK

Meeting Leader Be an inspirational engagement facilitator. . . . 10

Choose your model leaders wisely. . . . . . . . . .11

STEVE TERRELL

STEVEN BERGLAS

Learn from Experience

Admit Your Flaws

Develop learning mindsets and practices. . . . . . .19

If you are not confident of your competence. . . . .15

JACK ZENGER

DEEPAK CHOPRA

Listen Up, Power Down Leader Power How great leaders drive culture change. . . . . . . . . .6

RYAN ROSS

JUDITH GLASER

The ‘I’ of Leadership

Get Unstuck

Develop and retain high potentials. . . . . . . . .13

Good Companies

VINCENT O’CONNELL

Improving Productivity

Disciplined Coaching

Leaders can make all the difference. . . . . . . .20

Of leadership soft skills . .15

Reprinted with permission of Leadership Excellence: 1-877-250-1983


LEADERSHIP

PERFORMANCE

Accelerate Performance Ta k e f i v e s t e p s t o d r i v e g r o w t h . by Jane Stevenson

T

HE BEST GUIDANCE ON

accelerating leadership performance goes back 1,500 years. Milo of Croton was the most renowned wrestler in 6th Century Greek antiquity. During his career, which included six Olympic Games, seven Pythian Games, and other Greek national games, Milo won 32 wrestling competitions. He trained by carrying a calf on his shoulders daily from its birth until it became a full-sized ox, which he paraded through the stadium at Olympia. Milo was not only strong, he was smart. He recognized that to build physical strength—similar to building managerial and leadership strength— he needed a regimen and time to develop by working in steady, successful increments toward his goal. Milo had both the opportunity, he was a gifted athlete with the motivation and potential to succeed as a wrestler, and a development plan that included the right tools and experience (carrying the calf/ox) to achieve legendary feats in his day. The same principles apply today to accelerating leadership performance. Based on our experience at Korn/Ferry, and research on leadership development (LD), we suggest pitfalls to avoid and best practices to consider to achieve best results when developing leaders.

Two Cautionar y Tales Let’s consider two cautionary tales (company names have been changed): Tale 1. Monica was regarded as the number two at a multi-billion dollar midcap technology company. She was seen as the strategic driver of the acquisition strategy to double revenues in five years, and seen by the board as an emergency CEO succession candidate. To succeed, the company’s growth strategy required implementing a new compensation system, recruiting top talent, and ensuring that LD become a core competency. The CHRO was ill equipped for the job, and the CEO wanted someone he trusted in the CHRO role. He chose Monica, although she had no experience in HR, with “bet the farm” L e a d e r s h i p

level deliverables in that area. From a development perspective, Monica was now further away from the required P&L responsibility needed to build her operating track record and credibility with the board. She is accountable for objectives that will define about half of the company’s ability to succeed, and detoured from a career path that could develop her as a future CEO of the company. Can Monica pull it off? Yes, she might, but the risk is high, with the potential to derail both her career and the company’s succession plan. The takeaway: CEOs must consider not only what is expedient for the organization shortterm but also what is in its best interest longer-term. There should be enough slack in the development rope for individuals to learn and grow, but not enough for them to hang themselves.

Tale 2. This tale underscores the importance of timing, or tenure, in development assignments. At one large company, Mike had proven himself a well-rounded leader and effective team builder, and was on the high potential track. With the IT organization in a shambles, he was tapped for his leadership capabilities to make IT functional again within a year. Mike’s success should have been celebrated, and he should have been moved to another developmental assignment and IT handed to a visionary technology leader. Instead, Mike was “rewarded” by having to remain CIO with neither the vision nor IT skills to leverage technology as a competitive weapon in the marketplace. While he was initially a hero, two years later he is viewed as a disaster. The organization is behind the curve on the digital revolution that is transforming their market sector, and his credibility is shot for another role. Ironically, the initial risk of moving Mike into IT was low; he clearly pos-

sessed the management and leadership skills required for the turnaround. But once his role changed from short-term fixer to longer-term technology visionary, he was no longer in his element. Once again, the individual executive is likely derailed from a successful career and the organization likely loses a valuable high-potential leader.

A Safer Route Fortunately, these scenarios that can blow up both careers and companies’ leadership and succession planning can be avoided by taking five steps: 1. Focus on the stars. Every organization has stars or high potentials; they are the leaders of the future—the company’s future. Some leading companies have implemented sophisticated talent assessment and screening systems, alongside a parallel process based on the strategy that determines what skills will be needed to guide the company in the future. There is growing evidence —including improved business and bottom-line results—to support an approach that relies on quantitative, rather than qualitative, judgments of leadership potential. Moreover, this approach is viewed as fairer to all, including those not selected, which could mean fewer defections in the management ranks among those who may be highly capable and valued, but perhaps not viewed as future leaders. 2. Assess learning agility first. The prime measure of a company’s key talent is where individuals fall on the learning agility scale. Agile learners are open, willing to learn, curious about the world, willing to experience new things, and possessing good people skills and a high tolerance for ambiguity. Our research and practice at Korn/ Ferry reinforces the importance of learning agility as the most accurate identifier of high potential leaders and the most reliable predictor of executive success. It trumps traditional measures, such as IQ, emotional intelligence, or education. Since only 15 percent of workers are highly agile learners, companies must identify and develop these individuals to build the leadership bench required to meet the shifting demands of the global marketplace. 3. Meet them where they are. Accelerated LD is a very personal, very human process that should ultimately achieve two objectives simultaneously: 1) ensure that key leadership positions in the future are filled by the most capable executives and, 2) fulfill the personal aspirations and career goals of those being developed. One goal

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Reprinted with permission of Leadership Excellence: 1-877-250-1983

J u n e

2 0 1 3


can’t be achieved without the other. Developing any executive begs the questions: For what future state? Where is the company headed? What sort of leaders will we need? Also, the process must be rooted in the hopes and dreams of those whom the company has targeted for development. What are their visions for their future? What motivates them? What are their abilities, and what would they like to achieve? 4. Create a development roadmap. Design development programs that address the strategic needs of both the organization and the individual to develop needed job-related skills and broader management skills. The accelerated LD plan starts with mutually agreed upon goals, along with regular counsel/feedback to assess progress. As leaders undertake stretch assignments, they should be supported and protected for taking risks and learning. 5. Build leadership muscle. Viewed in weight training terms, accelerated LD should entail four elements: 1) Overload, or stretch muscle beyond what it is accustomed to (where the new development experiences and challenges figure in); 2) Progression, safely increase intensity regularly to avoid plateaus and ensure progress; 3) Specificity, train toward specific goals, regularly assessing progress; and 4) Rest and recovery, allow time for muscle—physical or intellectual—to grow and change. Even the best accelerated LD program won’t produce results overnight. The focus should be on safe development, including proper advice and coaching, setting the leaders of the future up for success, not to crash and burn or to be publicly devalued or humiliated. Companies undermine their succession efforts for management positions by sidetracking promising Hi-Po candidates from the development path required for them to become potential successors. Successful succession is both a mind-set and a process, focused on developing generations of leaders, not merely a person to fill an immediate need. Where are your leaders on the continuum of challenge, risk, and opportunity? Have you made the right tradeoffs, balancing the need to accelerate development and challenge Hi-Pos with a high probability of success in development assignments? Are you developing the most capable leadership to guide the organization in the future? LE Jane Stevenson is a Vice Chairman of Korn/Ferry Intl.’s Board & CEO Services Practice, leads the firm’s CEO Succession Practice, and is co-author of Breaking Away (McGraw Hill). Email jane.stevenson@kornferry.com.

ACTION: Accelerate the development of leaders.

L e a d e r s h i p

E x c e l l e n c e

Reprinted with permission of Leadership Excellence: 1-877-250-1983


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