The leading edge of an airplane wing is critical to slicing through the air and directing airflow around the wing to create lift.

Leaders form the leading edge of their teams or organizations. He or she shapes everyone’s energy and behaviors. Highly effective leaders and outstanding leadership teams create powerful lift. Their teams and organizations soar.

Less effective leaders and weaker leadership teams form misshaped or dull leading edges creating a drag that reduces lift. Their teams/organizations may get off the ground, but they sputter and sometimes stall.

The most dangerous — often deadly — leaders and leadership teams slice and slash their teams and organizations. Mostly with good intentions and little desire to hurt anyone, these leaders and leadership teams are usually ignorant of the bleeding edges they’ve created and the damage they’re doing.

On the Bleeding Edge

On the Leading Edge

Pushing and Punishing Engaging and Enabling
Rules, Policies, and “Snoopervision” Trust, Openness, and Modeling Core Values
Performance Management: Rank, Spank, and Yank Collaborative Coaching and Constructive Feedback
Search for the Guilty and Who Went Wrong –
Search for Root Causes and What Went Wrong – Fostering Teamwork
Partial and Piecemeal Change Programs Integrated and Aligned Processes and Development Systems
Fixated on Fixing Weaknesses Building and Leveraging Strengths
“Motivating” and Manipulating Behavior Inspiring and Energizing Extra Effort
Overloaded, Overwhelmed, and Crazy Busy Strategic Focus on Leveraging Time

Are you and your team on the bleeding or leading edge? How do you know? According to whom?

Tomorrow we publish my January blogs in the February edition of The Leader Letter.  In this issue you’ll find links to our time assessment quiz and results from others who have used this reflective tool to look at whether they’re soaring, sinking, or slicing their teams/organizations.

Competency models can be a leading edge that lift leadership development efforts. Or not. A badly designed and poorly used competency model can be a bleeding edge that cuts confidence and performance. Watch Joe Folkman’s archived webinar to learn about the five factors that make or break this developmental tool.

And this could be your lucky issue. Learn about Richard Wiseman’s insightful research on how we can develop a lucky edge.

I hope my blogs are giving you insights and edges to lift your development efforts to greater heights.