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Share through Email Leadership consists of opposing strengths, and most leaders have a natural tendency to overdevelop one at the expense of its counterpart.
The resulting imbalance diminishes their effectiveness. But leaders who work to guard against such lopsidedness can increase their versatility and their impact. Although it is generally acknowledged that effective leaders must possess a number of sometimes seemingly contradictory qualities and skill sets, the idea that a strength taken to an extreme can be a weakness does not seem to have registered fully in the practice of management.
However, the idea that performance problems can just as easily spring from taking a given behavior to an extreme has received far less attention. It is difficult to draw the line, however, between making the serious effort required to get things done and going too far. Still, even in executive positions there are situations that require the individual to get deeply involved.
For senior managers, then, effectiveness hinges on the ability to appropriately gear their leadership qualities and skills to the circumstances at hand. The lack of balance in leadership, which is linked to the idea of overdoing and is well known to individual managers, has also not fully registered in the practice of management.
When presented with two opposing approaches, people in general have a tendency to polarize, placing a high value on the approach in which they have greater faith and competence while overlooking or demeaning the value of the other. Despite their obvious intelligence, executives are no different.
We have commonly seen imbalances like these when assessing executives in our consulting work on leadership. To address the imbalances, we have found it helpful to define leadership skills and qualities in terms of paired approaches that may look like opposites but together constitute a balanced whole.
It became clear to us in our work that there are two overarching balances to be struck in that regard: We define strategic leadership as setting long-term direction, thinking broadly about the organization, seeking ways to grow the business, aligning people with the vision and strategy and the like.
We define operational leadership as focusing on short-term results, getting involved in operational detail, being grounded in the realities of implementing strategy, using processes to keep people on track and so on.
The two balances seem to complement each other: The strategic-operational duality describes what managers work on; the forceful-enabling duality describes how they go about it. These two essential pairs are tacitly understood, if not fully formulated, by most managers.
Indeed, leadership experts have long made similar distinctions in the literature. Therefore, these models miss the chance to identify lopsidedness, in our view the most common impediment to developing effective leadership.
Our position is based on the essentially two-sided nature of leadership: For every truth there is an equal and opposing truth, and leadership models are more useful for respecting that reality. Identifying Lopsided Leadership For an assessment tool to diagnose lack of balance, or lopsidedness, it must be able to measure overdoing, something that commonly used performance-rating scales typically do not do.
To measure performance in accordance with this old and worthy idea, we need only employ a rating scale that allows raters to distinguish between too little, the right amount and too much. The first stage was action research: We conducted comprehensive assessments of the leadership of individual senior managers by interviewing scores of coworkers, past and present, and administering a battery of psychological tests.
We analyzed the data rigorously and interpreted it with each executive. Later a second major duality — strategic and operational leadership — emerged from our ongoing action research, and we added it to the survey. Above all, the survey needed a way to capture overdoing, which is integral to imbalance.
The current version of that scale is: In the research we have done to date, using three samples of U. In addition, ratings from superiors, peers and direct reports converge to a high degree.
Indices of inter-rater reliability and inter-rater agreement easily exceed the minimum standard of. We tested our hypothesis that versatility is central to effectiveness by correlating scores on a versatility index with ratings of overall effectiveness.
The measure of effectiveness is a single item rated by coworkers on a point scale, where 10 is outstanding and 5 is adequate, and our analyses indicate that this measure is reasonably reliable and valid.
This was true for ratings of all coworkers taken together and for each group superiors, peers and direct reports taken separately.
The correlations were also significant when versatility and effectiveness were each rated by different groups.
Furthermore, in the study of both dualities, the correlation between versatility and effectiveness was about.
In other words, versatility in terms of these two dualities accounted for the majority of what it meant to be an effective executive. JAI Press,—; and R. Center for Creative Leadership, Research and Practice 55, no.Therefore, those models miss the chance to identify imbalance, which in the authors' view is the most common impediment to developing effective leadership.
The authors view versatility, the absence of imbalance, as the key to high performance levels. Developing Versatile Leadership Leadership consists of opposing strengths, and most leaders have a natural tendency to overdevelop one at the expense of.
The Versatile Leader: Make the Most of Your Strengths Without Overdoing It (J-B US non-Franchise Leadership) [Bob Kaplan, Rob Kaiser] on mtb15.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In this groundbreaking new book, Bob Kaplan and Rob Kaiser introduce an innovative approach to identifying and correcting lopsidedness in leaders/5(20).
By Robert E. Kaplan and Robert B. Kaiser. By Robert E. Kaplan and Robert B. Kaiser.
Learn to Fear Your Strengths to Become a Better Leader. He began consulting to executives and conducting research on leadership development in the early s at the Center for Creative Leadership. He is the coauthor of “The Versatile Leader” and.
Kaiser 1,*, an analysis of the article developing versatile leadership by robert kaplan and robert kaiser. Title: UNO Best resume writers nyc Alum - Spring , Author: UNO The history of william lyon mackenzie king as the canadian prime minister Magazine, an analysis of thomas hardys novel the mayor of casterbridge Name: UNO Alum - Spring Dr.
assessment is truly original. He holds three U.S. Patents, his article on measuring versatile leadership was the runner-up for article of the year in MITs Sloan Management Review, and his article on measuring executive integrity was the article of the year in Consulting Psychology Journal.