Leadership Development Model

Back in Graduate School (Organizational Behavior and Development) I took a class on leadership.  Specifically the class focus was on leadership definitions and models.  Our only assignment for the semester was to create our own Leadership Model.

I recently reviewed the leadership model I created for that class nearly 15 years ago.  I thought I would update my model with my real-world leadership mileage in mind.  I have used the various elements in my career, but it has been a while since I thought of the model as a whole.   

Funny thing though … I think my model still holds up.  So, it is time to publish it (of sorts) right here on my blog concerning leadership and organizational effectiveness.  I welcome your feedback and comments.  My hope is you can take something from this model, in part or in whole, and apply it to your leadership practice.

Over time I will write in more detail on the various components of the model, but for now here is an overview.

Leadership Development Model

  • The Model is a Field: there is space between elements.  Energy and balance hold the model together.  It is the same for a higher-order leader … using energy and balance to influence others. 
  • Relationship With Self: We start with self.  No leader can be effective without a strong understanding of self.  What are your ethics, character, principles, purpose, and motivations?  Do you leverage your talents?  How do you manage your weak areas?  Where do you draw energy (introversion or extraversion)?
  • Relationship With Others: A leader assures his or her relationships are strong and there is an understanding with those with authority over you, peers, and those you work for (your employees).
  • Pushing Forward: With our relationships in order, we push forward to accomplish our goals.  We understand our boss’s needs.  We work effectively with our peers, and we are clear with our staff.  We follow-up as needed and push harder as needed.

Yet there is more.  Pushing forward as a leader demands tremendous energy.  It can be done, but truly effective leaders strive for more … a place where only a gentle push works and where people are pulled forward to accomplish more.  As such we use less energy.

  • Discipline: How can one create an environment that operates almost on its own, using less energy?   It starts with discipline – the ability to make and keep promises and to honor commitments … to self and others.
  • Strength: Our capacity for effective action and our ability to maintain a position firmly.  We tap into the power of the four intelligences: emotional, mental, spiritual, and the physical to expand our strength. 
    Through Discipline & Strength we link back to the relationship with self and take ourselves to a new level as a leader.   We are set to pull people forward.
  • Trust: How can one lead well without trust?  It is possible, but one would need to PUSH HARDER almost without pause. To get to the next level one needs to operate with integrity, provide disclosure, and maintain an openness to new ideas.  In other words, be trustworthy. 
    People want to follow a trustworthy leader and the trustworthy leader requires less energy to pull people forward. 
  • Alignment: is the point where any member of the group can state the purpose, values, goals, and vision of the group.
  • Push and Pull:  This is the center of the model and became my focal point.  Leaders are set up to push forward to accomplish goals.  Effective relationships are the foundation to allow us to push forward.  
    Yet so often that push is into the unknown.  When we develop our discipline, strength, trustworthiness, and alignment we (1) use less energy, (2) help others move into the unknown and I would argue, (3) we get the very best out of people.

Let me know what you think of this model.  Over time I will write more concerning this model and detail more on the influences that helped me bring this together.  Remember, leadership development is not a solo journey.  WeMoveTogether

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