By Alan Deutschman
All Leadership comes down to this: changing people’s behavior
Why is it so darn hard? Science offers some surprising new answers – and ways to do better. Epic has a fascinating Whitepaper that examines aspects of human nature – and some of the science behind it – and was published in FastCompany, Issue 94, May, 2005, Page 53, Written by Alan Deutschman, FastCompany Senior Writer based in San Francisco.
Whether the topic is Leadership, enterprise Program Change Management or some other business initiative, the art and science of getting everyone to follow the bouncing ball and provide the degree of sustained commitment required to complete a project on time, on budget and with the appropriate degree of quality is always there… sometimes front and center and sometimes lurking quietly in the background, but there nonetheless.
Over the last several months, I have had the good fortune of collaborating with Associate Gene Rickle in our Princeton, New Jersey office. As Senior Vice-President of Leadership Development Programs, Gene is a staunch advocate of The Leadership Challenge (TLC) developed by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner – the number one Leadership Development program in the world.
Gene is quick to point out that Jim and Barry’s book has sold over 1.5 million copies, over 100 Doctoral Theses have been completed on the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) and over 100,000 participants worldwide have completed the TLC program – in short, something worth bragging about. Together, we are currently implementing The Leadership ChallengeTM in client organizations in Canada as well as the United States.
From my own observations and familiarity with TLC, I am still struck by the premise used by Jim and Barry over 30 years ago when they first started down the road of building TLC. Unlike most other Leadership Development programs that only study the most “successful” executives, military generals, etc. (and there is nothing wrong with that), TLC was build upon the tenet that everyone has, at one time or another, demonstrated leadership in their life Further, they advocate that ALL leadership is build upon 5 Practices of Exemplary Leadership that anyone can learn and anyone can refine.
Perhaps one of the reasons TLC is so popular with organizations is that it truly can be applied universally; across the organization and in different geographical and cross-cultural settings.
The Leadership Challenge program uses formal assessment, facilitation, support tools and in some cases, coaching, to tease out ways to help participants find their strengths, their “lesser” strengths, and develop an individualized plan for improvement. Another interesting component of TLC is that it requires participants to build a customed business project that will produce measurable results for their organization while at the same time focusing the participant on specific elements of their individual Leadership Development.
In the end though, as stated above, Leadership is still about changing people’s behavior.
To Download this Whitepaper, go to www.epic-soft.com, click on “Whitepapers” and then download Whitepaper Number 32: Change or Die.