Sometimes You Just Need a Chart

This is where you can rely on the technical to help you make what can otherwise be an emotional decision.  We talked last time about choosing the strength that you want to focus on.  For Tom, the midlevel manager who undertook this process, this decision was overwhelming.  While he was able to answer all of the questions we posed last time to explore his passions and interests within the competency framework, until he broke out the numbers it was a daunting decision.  He used the following data analysis with column A being the competencies he already possessed, B being his passions, and C being his organization’s needs.  As he quantified each of these in a central analysis tool, he found it easy to decide to work on “inspires and motivates others.”

1.  Displays Honesty and Integrity
2.  Exhibits Technical/Professional Expertise X 1
3.  Solves Problems and Analyzes Issues X 1
4.  Innovates X X 2
5.  Practices Self-Development
6.  Focuses on Results X 1
7.  Establishes Stretch Goals
8.  Takes Initiative X 1
9.  Communicates Powerfully and Broadly X 1
10.  Inspires and Motivates Others X X X 3
11.  Builds Relationships
12.  Develops Others X 1
13.  Collaborates and Fosters Teamwork X 1
14.  Develops Strategic Perspective X X 2
15.  Champions Change
16.  Connects the Group to the Outside World

At this point you have gathered 360 assessment data from your colleagues to also include what competencies are important to your organization as a whole.  It is decision time.  At this point you might want to ask a mentor, boss, or trusted colleague to help you decide if you are still struggling.

After you have decided which leadership competency you will work on, it is time to cross-train.  Look back at the complementary skills in the chart (url below) to find which skills will support the competency you have chosen to improve:

You should choose a complementary skill that is not only important to the organization, but also one that you are happy to work on and foresee success in improving.  Consider some of your lower scores as you are choosing.  Remember that this process is one that research shows brings high returns on your time investment.  In our next blog we will look at how to develop this skill in a linear fashion.

Are you struggling with which skill or competency to choose?  Your manager or a colleague should be able to give you some good input, but feel free to give us a call as well.  We are always happy to help.


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