Jim Clemmer's Leader Letter

Jim Clemmer's Leader Letter

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November 2012, Issue 116
Manifesto for a Leadership Development Revolution
Three Strategies to Dominate in a Scary Economy
The Strengths-Based Leadership Revolution Archived Webcast Now Available
Nine Points for Getting 360 Degree Reviews Right
Competency Companion Development Guide to Cross-Training
November 28 Webinar on Building Organization Muscle
Powerful Combinations: Drive for Results and Builds Relationships
9 Ways to Get Over Your Feedback Fears
Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on … Using Feedback to Lead Forward
Tweet Reading: Recommended Online Resources
Read The Leader Letter in Twice Weekly Installments
Feedback and Follow-Up

Permission to Reprint

You may reprint any items from The Leader Letter in your own printed publication or e-newsletter as long as you include this paragraph:

"Reprinted with permission from The Leader Letter, Jim Clemmer's free e-newsletter. For almost thirty years, Jim's 2,000 + practical leadership presentations and workshops/retreats, seven bestselling books, columns, and newsletters have been helping hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. His web site is www.clemmergroup.com."




November 2012, Issue 116

I first encountered Martin Seligman's work on the power of optimism in the mid-eighties. I've been an avid reader of his research and groundbreaking work ever since. When he was president of the American Psychology Association in 1998, he founded the Positive Psychology movement. Last July, I attended the first Canadian conference on Positive Psychology as a member of the Canadian association sponsoring it. Hundreds of us heard about the huge amount of powerful research now emerging for this rapidly growing field.

Almost ten years ago I reviewed Martin Seligman's book, Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. An opening quote I cited then resonates even more now; "I do not believe that you should devote overly much effort to correcting your weaknesses. Rather; I believe that the highest success in living and the deepest emotional satisfaction comes from building and using your strengths."

If you've been reading my blog posts or The Leader Letter for the last few years, you know I've enthusiastically reviewed Martin's latest book, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well Being, as well as Barbara Frederickson's Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive. My newsletters and blogs have had dozens of citations and quotes from these and other Positive Psychology work grounded in deep empirical research.

This issue is all about strengths-based leadership and using feedback to lead forward. Our last few months of partnering with Zenger Folkman in using their Strengths-Based Leadership Development System have been an overwhelming confirmation of this being one of the best moves we've made at The CLEMMER Group since we started in 1994.

Strengths-based leadership is the most radical and revolutionary new approach to leadership development of the past 50 years. We're very excited to be part of this groundbreaking movement. The research in Positive Psychology, Emotional Intelligence, Appreciative Inquiry, and Strengths-Based Leadership is growing exponentially and converging on a few powerful points; very clearly and unequivocally building our strengths is much more effective than focusing on gaps, needs analysis, and weaknesses.

To many people a focus on building strengths in order to grow and develop is counterintuitive. It's certainly not how most of us have traditionally thought about "improvement." We often equate improvement with finding, facing, and fixing weaker areas.

The evidence clearly shows building strengths is 2 - 3 times more effective. Leading with strength by focusing on what's right, strong, and positive -- and how to get more of it from ourselves, teams, and organizations -- is the pathway to peak performance. It's also much healthier, more motivating -- and a lot more fun!

Manifesto for a Leadership Development Revolution

I've been delivering keynotes, webinars, facilitating workshops, and discussing our Strengths-Based Leadership Development System for the past month with many highly experienced HR, Learning, and OD executives. It's been fascinating to see most of them go through the same struggle I did when I first dug into the compelling research.

On the one hand, comments like this one from Peter Drucker resonates very deeply:

"You cannot build performance on weaknesses. You can build only on strengths. To focus on weakness is not only foolish; it is irresponsible. It is a misuse of a human resource as what a person cannot do is a limitation and nothing else."

Most of us immediately get the concept of building strengths intuitively. It makes sense. And it's clearly aligned with the mounting research from the converging fields of Emotional Intelligence, Positive Psychology, and Appreciative Inquiry.

But then Paradigm Paralysis sets in. To actually build leadership development around strengths means a big change in our models/frameworks. To get to a new destination we need to take a new route. The same old road won't get us there.

The vast majority of us steeped in the leadership development field have focused on closing organizational or managerial gaps and weaknesses. We've used needs or gap analysis to find the weak spots and then gone to work on fixing those.

But that approach isn't working. If we continue using the same dysfunctional approaches and expecting different results we'll drive ourselves insane! Study after study shows 70% of organization change efforts fail. And the vast majority of leadership development programs produce very little change.

We need a new approach. As outlined by American physicist, historian, and philosopher of science, Thomas Kuhn, in his widely quoted book, The Nature of Scientific Revolutions, it's time for a paradigm shift. I wrote a newsletter article published by the Canadian Society for Training and Development summarizing my big shift in thinking on leadership development. That is now available on our web site. Click Manifesto for a Leadership Development Revolution to read it.

Immerse yourself or key leaders in the revolution at our first Extraordinary Leader public workshops in Toronto on November 29 (hosted by the revolutionaries at Canadian Tire) and Calgary on November 13.

Three Strategies to Dominate in a Scary Economy

In "Three Strategies to Dominate in a Scary Economy", Geoff writes that today's negative economic news dominating our headlines "are an insidious force that's undermining the native optimism that buoys up businesspeople everywhere." He points out that "even in today's uncertain economy, some companies are winning big." He goes on to show "three strategies are helping smart companies dominate:

  • They manage for value
  • They keep developing human capital
  • They get radically customer-centric."

Geoff provides a few prominent examples of companies thriving in our turbulent times using these approaches. I found it especially interesting that he mentioned Wells Fargo and General Mills. These are two major and long-time Zenger Folkman Clients using highly customized programs within our Strengths-Based Leadership Development System.

Geoff writes, "consider General Mills, prospering in the fiercely competitive food industry. Its famously demanding leadership culture hasn't wavered, and the company ranks No. 21 on Glassdoor.com's new list of the 25 companies where it's hardest to get hired." In the Foreword to Zenger Folkman's excellent new book, How to Be Exceptional: Drive Leadership Success by Magnifying Your Strengths, Kevin Wilde, VP, Organization Effectiveness and Chief Learning Officer at General Mills wrote of the meeting he had with his skeptical CEO when they were considering Zenger Folkman's strengths-based leadership development approach.

Kevin replied:

"While some need to concentrate on fatal flaws, most of our leaders would be wasting their time making small, incremental improvements on a few, below-average scores that may not matter in the long run … if we concentrate all our efforts getting everyone to average, that is what we will achieve -- a company of average leaders … we needed exceptional leaders with profound strengths that matter."

Weaknesses are scary. Strengths are enabling. Build strengths and boldly say boo to the ghosts and goblins of doubt and uncertainty.

The Strengths-Based Leadership Revolution Archived Webcast Now Available

Earlier this fall I delivered a 50 minute webinar on The Strengths-Based Leadership Revolution hosted by the Canadian Society for Training and Development. We wrapped it up with 15 minutes of thoughtful participant questions and discussion. This archived webinar is now freely available here.

Given the breadth and depth of our Strengths-Based Leadership Development System a shorter presentation like this is always challenging. Should I focus on one aspect of this multi-faceted new approach or give a broader overview? This is like the one week tourist trip Heather and I took to Rome a few years ago. We started with a city tour to get a broad overview of all the main sites. This helped us decide where we wanted to spend more time and go deeper.

The Strengths-Based Leadership Revolution webcast is a "city tour" of the main components in this unique new approach. It's taken me some time to get my head around just how radically different this leadership development system really is. So I condensed and put together a very fast moving tour that covers:

  • Key research findings from the new book How to Be Exceptional: Drive Leadership Success by Magnifying Your Strengths (just reviewed by The Globe & Mail at Excellent? Counterintuitive tips on how to be exceptional).
  • The sixteen empirically identified key leadership competencies in five clusters that cause leaders and their team/organizations to flounder or flourish.
  • The huge performance differences between "good" and "extraordinary" leaders and the dramatic impact on his or her team/organization.
  • Why building on existing strengths is up to 3 times more effective than fixing weaknesses.
  • How developing just three existing strengths out of sixteen competencies catapults a leader's effectiveness from the 34th to the 80th percentile!
  • When to work on weaknesses.
  • Evidence-based strength development using Companion Competencies, cross-training, and non-linear approaches.
  • Why many 360 feedback tools are developing a negative reputation -- associated with accentuating weaknesses -- and how to correct the problem.

The webinar is specifically designed for Learning and Development professionals concerned with developing leadership skills in their organizations. Here are comments from participants:

"Eye opening; it makes me re-think my entire coaching/feedback approach with my staff and the organization."

"I will look at how I can leverage these resources in my design and implementation work."

"I will reassess our 360 assessment tool and encourage top management to assess strengths. I'll also re-assess professional development plans with this new perspective."

We're providing our first Extraordinary Leader public workshops in Toronto on November 29 (hosted by Canadian Tire) and Calgary on November 13.

Nine Points for Getting 360 Degree Reviews Right

My last two posts have focused on dealing with feedback fears and using feedback to move us forward. As we work with Clients to implement our Strengths-Based Leadership Development System we're tapping into Zenger Folkman's extensive knowledge base and rapidly expanding our experience and expertise in using 360 feedback tools. It's an incredibly powerful vehicle for a leader to gather perceptions from his or her manager, direct reports, peers, and others on pinpointing leadership strengths and how to build them. This is the only way to help a good leader become an extraordinary one.

It's been fascinating to discuss 360 feedback experiences with executives and development professionals. Many have had negative encounters. As we've talked further about why their experiences were so negative what often emerges is that the tool and the process was weakness-based. The 360s were built on the wide spread and unconscious belief that improvement equals finding and fixing lower rated areas. Our research shows that's completely wrong. Building and developing existing strengths is 2 - 3 times more effective.

On top of being weakness-based, many 360s feedback tools are poorly built and the feedback process is badly managed. Like a car with faulty brakes, misaligned steering, and a poorly trained driver, these feedback vehicles are an accident waiting to happen. And they often cause serious injuries.

Joe Folkman and Jack Zenger's Harvard Business Review blog post on Getting 360 Degree Reviews Right provides nine critical points to ensure leaders reap the enormous power of 360 tools. Use them to drive safely.

Our first Extraordinary Leader public workshops (currently no others are scheduled) in Toronto on November 29 (hosted by Canadian Tire) and Calgary on November 13 is structured around the personal feedback each participant gets using our 360 feedback tool and 200 page Competency Companion Development Guide to build on the leadership strengths identified.

Competency Companion Development Guide to Cross-Training

Right after my Canadian Society for Training and Development webinar was broadcast (now archived and available for viewing at The Strengths-Based Leadership Development Revolution) I received this e-mail from a participant:

"I had a chance to attend your webinar on The Strengths-Based Leadership Revolution earlier today. I truly enjoyed learning from the information and research you shared. The strengths-based approach to leadership development resonates with me specifically because it focuses on building up a leader versus tearing them down in order to improve them. My natural inclination is to focus on, and encourage, the positive.

I am curious to learn more about the "Competency Companion Development Guide." Where can I get more information on the actual groupings of competencies as well as the theory behind it?"

My response was to thank her for the feedback and that I was glad to hear our Strengths-Based Leadership Development System resonated so strongly with her. With my deep lifelong study and application of the principles now scientifically proven in the emerging field of Positive Psychology, it certainly does with me too.

The Competency Companion Development Guide is the "source code" or core Intellectual Property powering our highly successful Leadership Cross-Training approach (you can read a bit more on the concept at (Leadership Cross Training is Powerful and Revolutionary). Chapter Four of How to Be Exceptional: Drive Leadership Success by Magnifying Your Strengths explains some of the research behind this powerful concept.

The CCDG is a major 200 page reference appendix of the Participant Manual each person receives when he or she goes through The Extraordinary Leader workshop (in addition to How to Be Exceptional: Drive Leadership Success by Magnifying Your Strengths). The CCDG shows statistically significant cross competencies and behaviors scoped out for each of the 16 competencies. It's used as the main reference guide for participants choosing their development path in building a strength (a competency in the 75th percentile) into a profound strength (90th percentile). Developing just 3 of 16 competencies into profound strengths boosts overall perceived leadership effectiveness over the 80th percentile!

Registrations are now steadily coming in for our first Extraordinary Leader public workshops in Toronto on November 29 (hosted by Canadian Tire) and Calgary on November 13.

November 28 Webinar on Building Organization Muscle

At the end of October we held our morning briefing in Toronto on Developing Exceptional Leaders. During the first part of the morning I delivered a 90 minute overview of the unique and revolutionary Strengths-Based Leadership Development System. You can view a condensed version of the material I covered in an archived webinar on The Strengths-Based Leadership Development Revolution hosted by the Canadian Society for Training and Development.

After our break we had three superb panelists; Melissa Warner, Manager of Learning and Development at Canadian Tire, Lori Nemeth, Director of Learning and Development at Seneca College, and Grant Armstrong, Manager Organizational and Leadership Development at Niagara Region. Each provided a 10 minute overview on how they've been using the Strengths-Based Leadership System so effectively in their organizations. The three organizations covered a diversity of sectors and ranged from highly customized approaches using their own competency models to a more standard use of The Extraordinary Leader methodology (which we'll be using in this month's Extraordinary Leader public workshops).

A very lively 30 minute question and answer session followed. A major theme of this discussion was the revolutionary shift from a weakness or gap focus to strengths-based development. A number of briefing participants voiced their new realization that the approach they're using to training needs analysis is unbalanced and one-sided. It's really a weakness analysis. And it's one of the big reasons many of the training programs that result from this are often poorly received and rarely show much change. As one participant said, "we need to totally change our approach to needs analysis."

Participants completed a feedback form at the end of the morning. The first question asked "what points from today's briefing did you find most useful?" Almost everyone mentioned focusing on strengths as their biggest "take-away." Here's a sample of a few of those comments:

  • "Leadership development based on strengths is very new for me. It gave me a new perspective for my future work."
  • "The research showing how improving a few strengths disproportionately boost performance is very compelling."
  • "Focusing on strengths is a big paradigm shift."
  • "It's a big switch in mindset from improving shortcomings to building on strengths."
  • "Significant results can be achieved with focusing on developing strengths.
  • "This is very different from traditional leadership development and means a real shift in thinking and approach."
  • "A strengths-based approach ripples out to create a more positive, can-do culture."

Jack Zenger has an excellent blog on this topic at "Why Focusing on Weaknesses Doesn't Create Exceptional Leadership". It's drawn from ZF's superb new book, How to Be Exceptional: Drive Leadership Success by Magnifying Your Strengths.

On November 28, Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman are providing a complimentary webinar on Building Organization Muscle. This is an excellent chance to hear from the two revolutionaries who've been leading the charge for a whole new approach to leadership development. The webinar will not be archived and available later, so don't miss it! Details and link to register are below.

In the words of the venerable Peter Drucker (now called "the father of modern management"):

"The effective executive makes strengths productive … one cannot build on weaknesses. Strengths are the true opportunities to make strength productive is the unique purpose of the organization. It cannot overcome the weaknesses with which each of us in endowed, but it can make them irrelevant. Organization must feed the opportunities and starve the problems."

Building Organization Muscle
Presenters: Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
10am PST, 11am MST, 1pm EST, 6pm UK, 7pm Italy

For most companies, employee assessments are a common practice. Employee assessments are traditionally used to identify common problems within organizations and possible ways to fix them. The problem with this popular practice is that the process is only half as effective as it could be. Why? Because these surveys are designed to point out organizational weaknesses and not capitalize on their greatest strengths.

In this webinar, Drs. Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman will show participants how to apply Zenger Folkman's strengths-building concepts to increase organizational effectiveness and improve bottom line profitability.

Participants will:
  • Learn how to identify issues that will create the most significant leverage for their organization
  • Explore an algorithm that looks at what people need and what organizations need to find what will create the most leverage and value for the organization
  • Discover Zenger Folkman's unique process of non-linear development in organizational dimensions

Join us to learn how our research and tools will transform your organization!

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now

Powerful Combinations: Drive for Results and Builds Relationships

Last week I was facilitating a two-day development retreat with a management team in Western Canada. We were discussing Zenger Folkman's powerful research on the statistical correlations and interactions of leadership behaviors. I wrote about this evidence-based leadership approach last month in Leadership Cross-Training is Powerful and Revolutionary.

This research has led to a very unique groundbreaking approach for building leadership competencies from a strength in the 75th percentile to a profound strength in the 90th percentile. Linear or traditional training can work well to improve weaker areas. But it's now very clear that our same old ways of learning and development will not help a leader grow his or her skills from average to exceptional. That calls for a very different approach. This was highlighted in Competency Companion Development Guide to Cross-Training.

During our discussion we debated two particularly Powerful Combinations. These were the competencies of Drive for Results and Builds Relationships. Our database of 360 degree feedback assessments completed by over 300,000 managers, direct reports, peers, and others on 35,000 leaders shines strong new light on this combination.

Analysis shows that if a leader is rated as having Builds Relationships as a strength the chances of him or her being rated as an extraordinary leader is 12%. On the other hand, if a leader is rated with Drive for Results as a strength, his or her probability of being scored as an extraordinary leader creeps up slightly to 14%.

These two competencies have been locked in a classic either/or debate for decades now. And we had that discussion in our retreat. The team was hitting its numbers and clearly getting results that topped every other unit in the company. But relationships were weak and employee engagement was low. The highest rated of a long list of "Spirit Killers" we ranked in one workshop exercise was "There are 'walking wounded' in our organization who feel that our management team cares only about results and doesn't respect their dignity and feelings." In true binary thinking, many managers wanted the team manager to back off Drive for Results to allow more time and energy for Builds Relationships. They saw it as a zero sum game; you trade off one to get more of the other.

I then showed them our Powerful Combinations research on cross-connecting these two competencies. Looking at the probabilities of being extraordinary at 12% and 14% when each competency is a strength it would be fairly logical to assume that if a leader was strong at both, his or her chances of being rated as extraordinary would be around the total of the two at about 26%. In fact, our analysis of the statistical correlations between these two competencies shows that the likelihood of a leader who is strong at both Drives for Results and Builds Relationships being extraordinary is actually 72%!!

We're talking about moving only two of 16 leadership competencies from good to great. But if these two strengths are developed in combination, a leader's overall effectiveness skyrockets. This changed the tone of our discussion. What leadership team or organization really believes they should reduce their drive for results? How would you present a budget or business plan to upper management or board that sets lower targets for next year in order to build relationships?

The management team agreed they need to continue hitting their targets and delivering results. The focus of our discussion, brainstorming, and planning, shifted to counterbalancing what results they deliver to how they deliver them. High-performing leaders don't deliver results and leave a trail of dead or wounded bodies in their wake. That will cause short-time results at best. And high-performing leaders don't create highly energized and engaged teams with strong relationships that keep falling short on their results and failing to deliver. That's demoralizing, enervating, and unsustainable.

Extraordinary leaders aren't superhuman excelling at all competencies. We all have weak spots and lesser skills. Our leadership data show that exceptional leaders build on powerful combinations to leverage a cluster of interconnected strengths that create incredibly powerful synergies. These catalytic combinations dramatically boost overall leadership effectiveness. They become towering strengths that overshadow weak spots and supercharge performance levels.

Chapter Four ("Leadership Cross-Training: The Revolutionary Approach to Leadership Developing Leadership Skills") in How to Be Exceptional: Drive Leadership Success by Magnifying Your Strengths has more examples of powerful combinations, research, case studies, explanations of the cross-strengths linkages, and application exercises. It's one of the reasons The Globe & Mail's review of the book highlighted the counterintuitive nature of our research and the advice found in the book. You can see the review at "Excellent? Counterintuitive tips on how to be exceptional".

Our first Extraordinary Leader public workshops (currently no others are scheduled) in Toronto on November 29 (hosted by Canadian Tire) and Calgary on November 13 will provide participants with our 200 page Competency Companion Development Guide and coaches them through using it to build strengths based on the 360 feedback reports they get at the session.

9 Ways to Get Over Your Feedback Fears

Canadian Thanksgiving Day was last month. That holiday Monday was cool with bright sunshine and blue skies. After our traditional Oktoberfest Family Day lunch (Kitchener-Waterloo celebrates their German heritage with the largest Oktoberfest outside of Munich) our family decided to visit a corn maze. It consisted of a series of trails and pathways cut through a large cornfield. The corn was 7 - 8 feet high. Once in the maze, there was no way to see over the corn to the outside. It was a long and complex maze with many dead-ends and circular loops.

Before we entered the maze, we looked at a large map of it (cleverly spelling out "Canada" and displaying maple leaves) showing every pathway and dead-end and the circling route that would bring us back out. Our son, Chris, and I felt pretty smug as we promptly pulled out our Blackberries and took a photo of the maze map. We were clearly going to find our way through the cornfield with this navigational aid.

Once we were deep into the maze and hopelessly confused, we pulled out our map photos to figure out what route to take. I've used Google Maps on my Blackberry for many years to navigate through some of the world's largest and confusing cities. A few months ago it was very helpful on the back roads of Colorado and Wyoming when I was facilitating a retreat at a very remote "dude ranch."

But the maze photo map proved to be useless now. It was missing that familiar blinking blue dot showing "you are here." We had no idea where we were in the maze. It's very tough to get from here to there when you don't know where here is! So we sheepishly put our maps away and stumbled blindly through the maze with the rest of our family.

Feedback is essential to leadership development. And when we're leading others we need to know how they perceive our behaviors. What do they think is working and what's not so effective? What do they see as strengths we can build on to boost our leadership effectiveness? And are we doing anything that's veering off track and possibly even a fatal flaw?

Joe Folkman has developed decades of deep experience and expertise in helping leaders gather feedback and figure out how to use it as rocket fuel boosting their performance. Yet many leaders stumble blindly through the maze of personal, team, and organizational interactions. The leader may have some idea of where he or she wants to go, but are missing that "flashing blue dot" triangulated by a group of satellites showing the leader "you are here." Too often, feedback fear prevents us from having our leadership position triangulated by our manager, peers, direct reports, and others we may be trying to lead or influence. We shut off our GPS units and head into dead-ends and circling career loops.

Joe very rightly points out that "the only thing worse than hearing negative feedback is what happens if you don't hear it." Click on "9 Ways To Get Over Your Feedback Fears" for his brief and practical advice published in Fast Company. Joe's also written an excellent white paper on "Turning Feedback into Change" you can freely download from Zenger Folkman's Leadership Resource Center (scroll to the bottom of the "Articles/White Papers" page).

Tap into the powerful Strengths-Based Leadership Development System built around Zenger Folkman's well researched and highly acclaimed 360 feedback tool at our first Extraordinary Leader public workshops in Toronto on November 29 (hosted by Canadian Tire) and Calgary on November 13.

Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on … Using Feedback to Lead Forward

"The eye cannot see its own lashes."
- Chinese proverb

"Superior performers intentionally seek out feedback; they want to hear how others perceive them, realizing that this is valuable information … one common mistake is focusing on people's weaknesses and failing to note their strong points. This can be demoralizing rather than motivating."
- Daniel Goleman, Working with Emotional Intelligence

"Human nature seems to endow everyone with the ability to size up everybody but himself."
- Unknown

" … very few people have an accurate perception of either their strengths or their weaknesses. This is why we often comically read such facts as '80 percent of American drivers consider themselves above average' and '65 percent of people surveyed believe they are better than average looking in appearance' … the only way to get an accurate read of how you are doing as a leader is through the collective eyes of those you lead … a leader's ability to lead is highly determined by the reactions of others to that leader. Self-perceptions make little difference."
- Jack Zenger, Joe Folkman, Bob Sherwin, and Barbara Steel, How to Be Exceptional: Drive Leadership Success by Magnifying Your Strengths

"Strengthen me by sympathizing with my strength, not my weakness."
- Amos Bronson Alcott, 19th century American educator, social reformer

"Most feedback accentuates the negative. During formal employee evaluations, discussions invariably focus on 'opportunities for improvement' even if the overall evaluation is laudatory. No wonder most executives -- and their direct reports -- dread them … too much emphasis on problem areas prevents companies from reaping the best from their people. After all, it's a rare baseball player who is equally good at every position. Why should a natural third baseman labor to develop his skills as a right fielder?"
- Laura Morgan Roberts, Gretchen Spreitzer, Jane Dutton, Robert Quinn, Emily Heaphy, and Brianna Barker, "How to Play to Your Strengths," Harvard Business Review


Tap into the powerful Strengths-Based Leadership Development System built around Zenger Folkman's well researched and highly acclaimed 360 feedback tool at our first Extraordinary Leader public workshops in Toronto on November 29 (hosted by Canadian Tire) and Calgary on November 13.

Tweet Reading: Recommended Online Resources

This section summarizes last month's LinkedIn Updates and Twitter Tweets about online articles or blog posts that I've flagged as worth reading. These are usually posted on weekends when I am doing much of my reading for research, learning, or leisure.

My original tweet commenting on the article precedes each title and descriptor from the original source:

Too many 360s are poorly executed and do more harm than good. Jack and Joe's 9 point criteria outline a much better and proven approach.

"Getting 360 Degree Reviews Right" - Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman

"In the course of completing tens of thousands of 360 reviews in our strengths-based leadership programs, we had an up-close view of many people who were teetering on the edge of job termination, and have seen them blossom into extremely valuable contributors."

Study shows another example of the powerful cross-competency combination that comes from balancing both management and leadership skills.

The Push and Pull of Employee Engagement" - Ivy Exec Blog - Joe Folkman

"We did a study with 160,576 employees who reported into 20,597 work groups or team. We measured their immediate manager's effectiveness on both pushing and pulling. The results showed some surprising trends …"

Executives are big on accountability but don't measure the impact of their leadership on sales, profits, engagement, safety, service, etc.

"Why Don't We Measure The Productivity Of Leaders? The 3 Critical Questions Every Company Should Ask" - Jack Zenger

"Perhaps we ignore leader productivity because there are no good measuring sticks. Our research confirms a high correlation between a leader's effectiveness as perceived by managers, peers and subordinates and the actual results the leader produces."

A timely article as eastern US/Canada deals with "Frankenstorm" just before Halloween. We badly need more inspiring and spirited leadership.

"A Monster of a Problem: How to Help Leaders Be More Inspiring" - Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman

"We've seen programs that focus on hundreds of different skills … just as Frankenstein lacked any moral compass, such programs fail to instill one of the most important qualities that leaders need to possess."

Read The Leader Letter in Twice Weekly Installments

The items in each month's issue of The Leader Letter are first published in my twice weekly blog during the previous month.

If you read each blog post (or issue of The Leader Letter) as it's published over twelve months you'll have read the equivalent of one of my books. And you'll pick up a few practical leadership tips that help you use time more strategically and tame your E-Beast!

Feedback and Follow-Up

I am always delighted to hear from readers of The Leader Letter with feedback, reflections, suggestions, or differing points of view. Nobody is ever identified in The Leader Letter without their permission. I am also happy to explore customized, in-house adaptations of any of my material for your team or organization. Drop me an e-mail at Jim.Clemmer@Clemmer.net or connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook, or my blog!

Keep learning, laughing, loving, and leading - living life just for the L of it!!


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