Leadership Teams Must Do This Now
This is part three of a four-part series on Predictive Index (PI) drives.
Leaders possess competencies that include both skills and behaviors that result in superior performance. For many organizations there is a suite of leadership competencies that, when deployed effectively, delivers the desired results. In recent months, organizations have been required to pivot quickly and to navigate numerous shifting regimes. Leadership teams must do this now:
- Acknowledge leadership strengths and blind spots
- Analyze and position to optimize success SWOT
- Gain leadership alignment to strategy
- Identify operational, procedural, or people refinements
- Map success in people-centric terms
Behaviors, skills and team dynamics that once informed excellence are no longer effective as unexpected situations mandate a new approach. Successful leaders are taking a close look at their organization’s strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. They are evaluating what changes need to be made and they are taking action.
While some necessary changes may be operational or procedural, there are difficult behavioral changes that may also be required. Consider an individual’s natural drive to exert influence on people or events. In Predictive Index, this drive is known as Dominance and the manifestation of the drive can vary significantly based on the amount of drive inherent in the person. A naturally assertive leader, who is decisive and direct, may find herself leveraging a more supportive, collaborative approach to deliver optimal results in this ‘new normal.’ The reverse may also be true. Those who will prevail are modifying their behaviors, leveraging their team’s differences and adding new skills to thrive during these transitionary times.
Internal and external factors will impact the ideal behavioral adjustments due. For instance, the speed at which results must be achieved—and products or services delivered—plays a significant role in the amount and style of influence required by a leader.
An individual who has significant drive to exert influence is likely more effective in situations where a unified front to deliver immediate results is required. When faced with tight deadlines, the urgency and magnitude of influence asserted on a team, is therefore a noteworthy value-add.
Similarly, organizations where speed is replaced with crisis or uncertainty may benefit from a more assertive, or direct, approach to influencing others. A leader who is comfortable with executive decision-making and forging ahead with less than 100% buy-in may be required to inform success.
In contrast, situations where process and precision prevail, an intensely assertive influencing style may create undue pressure that compromises the success of the team’s necessary calm and deliberate approach.
Leaders with less drive to exert influence on people and events deliver superior business results. These leaders may be better aligned to projects of a less hectic pace where the care and craft of the process and products is paramount. Supportive leaders, as opposed to assertive ones, are often better listeners. They contribute meaningfully to the conversation, while they concurrently solicit the feedback of others. A plethora of ideas are shared by the team in a safe environment and consensus decision-making often prevails.
Is your organization a start-up of a fantastically new innovation? Or perhaps a team with initial success now facing rapid growth? Or rather a seasoned manufacturer of ongoing excellence?
Educational institutions may currently be at cross-roads in this regard. What was once a highly analytical, thoughtful, calm and deliberate realm is now faced with a ferociously paced demand to reinvent the learning environment and with little time to develop the most well-vetted, cohesive solution. What was once a predictable and familiar experience is now flooded with uncertainty and new systems, processes and protocols.
Regardless of your industry, consider the quickly changing landscape that your leadership team is navigating. What has changed and in what ways do you and they need to adapt? Does (the current context for) your organization require a supportive and collaborative influencing style or rather a direct, assertive style? Success will be informed through the intentional and strategic mapping of your new approach, but only if you are able to communicate it in people-centric terms.