A CEO called because after two years in his role, his executive team was performing well, but they weren’t ‘gelling.’ Work was getting done, but at times it seemed random and chaotic. Though collegial and highly qualified, his senior team didn’t work well together, and as a result, the work throughout the organization was disjointed and becoming more siloed. “I’ve used Leadership 360s with prior teams in other organizations, and they’ve proven to be a good tool in identifying where we each need to hone our skills,” he said, “I think they can help my current team too.” I assured him they could. But an assessment alone wasn’t going to address his team’s challenges. The assessments needed to be linked to something more substantive otherwise, they could be viewed as a basic leadership exercise with no real potential for impact or change. There is no doubt, Leadership 360 assessments are great tools to help pinpoint opportunities for improvement with a leader’s or a team’s behavior, leadership skills, performance, emotional intelligence, trust, etc. When managed well, leadership 360s are powerful, insightful, instructive, and incredibly valuable. When managed poorly, they’re powerful, hurtful, punitive, and terribly destructive.
Assessments need to be linked to something more substantive than just providing feedback, otherwise, they can be viewed as a basic leadership exercise with no real potential for impact or change.
To ensure any leadership 360 you employ is instructive and valuable, do not allow it to be a stand-alone tool in assessing your team’s or one leader’s capabilities or performance. An assessment alone is dangerous. It’s tempting and too easy for each person to misinterpret his or her own results, dismiss the unfavorable comments or ratings, interpret other comments too harshly, and focus on trying to identify who said what instead of focusing on the thematic individual, team and cultural issues that are being highlighted. Because of this, leadership 360s should always, always be facilitated by a qualified consultant or coach who will then directly or through a team, provide individualized and team coaching. This outside perspective and support is key, because the follow-on coaching needs to have a two-fold purpose: It should guide the individual leaders as they enhance specific skills or address specific behaviors, and it should facilitate the development of a leadership team’s performance. However, leadership 360s can be so much more than tools for individual and leadership team growth. When used strategically, they become a tool for leadership growth and organizational success.
When used strategically, leadership 360s can be tools for leadership growth and organizational success
By simply creating or selecting a leadership 360 assessment that assesses leadership behaviors, performance, skill, and other attributes that align with those of leaders needed in your organization – as it will be 3-5 years from now – you are aligning the leadership 360 process with your organization’s strategic planning, succession planning, and strategic workforce planning initiatives. The leadership 360 is now assessing current attributes and skills against needed attributes and skills of successful leaders within your organization going forward. The feedback to your leaders is then viewed more positively. It’s viewed as being proactive and instructive, instead of reactive and critical.
Create your strategic plan. Clarify your metrics. Select the leadership 360 that will best align to those metrics. Deploy and use the assessment as a coaching tool to help your individual leaders and your leadership team clearly understand what they each need to do individually, as a team and strategically to enhance their skills to become the leaders your organization needs.
Copyright MMXVIII - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz and her team work with leaders to create focused plans for their organizations' future. Then they work with the leaders to ensure their plans are implemented effectively.