The Aberdeen Group recently reported that 87% of Best-in-Class organizations use assessment data as part of their criteria for promotion to leadership roles. Effective leaders are often as focused in on developing their people, optimally preparing them for potential next steps professionally, as they are on advancing their own careers. Carr’s approach to employee development gives an in-depth look at an individual’s current strengths and limitations while also providing specific exercises and training modules aimed at getting him or her moving forward professionally. Comprehensive data and action steps are combined to optimize growth, resulting in real, measurable behavioral change.
Many leadership development “experts” are touting Strength Building as the best way to develop leadership talent. Strength building suggests a leader should spend what little time he or she has accentuating their top five assets as opposed to shoring up their chief limitations. The idea here is that it is easier to gain productivity and success by doing what you already do better versus trying to become good at the things you are not. And if everyone knows their strengths (and deficiencies), the organization can work together to fill in the blanks – a very “positive psychology” approach to leadership.
While accentuating your strengths will benefit, ignoring weaknesses is not a wise choice. Think about it, if your car is good at going fast, but poor at braking, should you concentrate your time on learning how to go faster or might it be a good idea to simply fix the brakes? To use Strength Builder leadership parlance, if you are futuristic and have vision and intellect, but lack interpersonal sensitivity, should you continue to shout your ideas at others hoping that they get it and want to follow your lead?
Leadership development is a lot like lifting weights or staying fit. It is never easy to improve and to get good at it requires “resistance training” (pushing beyond one’s comfort zone). So open your eyes to your entire leadership repertoire, be strategic in how you spend your time, don’t “drive your car without brakes,” and keep pushing to improve SOMEWHERE.