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leadership lab

This column is part of Globe Careers' Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their views and advice about leadership and management. Follow us at @Globe_Careers. Find all Leadership Lab stories at

Leadership development most likely will continue to be a hot human resources topic in 2016, as many organizations are committed to attracting and developing leaders. Total spending on training in North America is estimated at $2.6 billion annually.

Leadership development traditionally is focused on developing specific core competencies that are trainable, such as communications, influencing and decision making. Like any learning process, it requires time, knowledge, a delivery mechanism (i.e., classroom, executive coaching, mentoring) and practice.

One tool that leaders can use to self-evaluate their leadership core competency gaps is a process called In Vivo 360. It's a leadership development exercise that allows leaders to discover core competencies gaps and to explore their effectiveness at facilitating conversations to receive feedback.

To excel as a leader there is value in looking beyond traditional leadership core competencies and to explore one's management effectiveness. Different than leadership core competencies, management effectiveness is dependent not just on core competencies but also on leaders' organizational knowledge and management experience within their sector, along with personality traits such as humility, drive, mannerisms and confidence. From that point of view, management effectiveness is influenced by both trainable and non-trainable attributes.

Not every leader can be successful in every sector and culture, regardless of their leadership core competencies. For organizations to maximize their success in developing future leaders, it is of benefit to obtain clarity on the desired management effectiveness profile required to be successful within the conditions, pressures, work force talent and resources leaders are provided to achieve defined results.

Management effectiveness is outcome-based; the General Management Effectiveness 11 Factors Profile below is a tool leaders use to self-evaluate their management effectiveness within their current situation. The higher the score in each of the 11 factors, the higher the probability of success.

General Management Effectiveness 11 Factors Profile

Evaluate your degree of confidence that each of the 11 factors is in place, from

Low (L) – Medium (M) – High (H).



1. Organizational intelligence – level of understanding of my organization’s strategic plan, business plan, goals, reporting expectations, and all policies, procedures and legislation requirements

2. Credibility with work force – level of confidence of the average employee that I am trustworthy and credible, and will follow through on commitments

3. Operations capabilities – confidence that I have the required skills and habits needed for my assigned leadership function with respect to quality control, customer service, and delegating authority; I use metrics and reports effectively to make sound operational decisions; and I can solve operational problems

4. Intra-personal skills – degree to which peers and reports believe I am able to manage emotions under pressure, am self-directed, have proven coping skills, and manage stress

5. Interpersonal skills – degree to which employees believe that I have built a productive and co-operative team, I facilitate two-way communications, deal with conflict, treat all employees equally, communicate messages clearly and am approachable

6. Promote culture – level of confidence that employees see me as a positive role model who is supportive and models the organization’s values

7. Have required technical skills – degree of confidence that employees believe I have the technical skills required to lead them with confidence

8. Effectively use employees’ time – level of confidence that employees have in my ability to plan, schedule, and run meaningful and effective meetings that add value to their abilities to do their jobs well

9. Continuous improvement – degree of confidence that I am committed to providing feedback and praise for good work, I focus on developing employees’ skills, facilitate learning and development, and am committed to self-improvement

10. Personality – the degree to which my style, approach, drive, attitude and approach to people instills confidence to follow me

11. Leadership competencies – evidence that I have the required leadership skills (e.g., inspiring and influencing, strategic thinking, problem solving) for my assigned leadership function

An organization can use this management effectiveness profile as a guide to frame and design a management effectiveness profile that is specific to its needs, leadership core competency profile, sector, organizational expectations and goals required for success, working conditions, environmental factors, and work force maturity and capabilities.

Consider the contrast between the leader of troops in war and one who is responsible for guiding a large organization. While both may benefit from specific leadership skills, working conditions, resources, talent pool and personality also play a role in the results they can achieve. Management effectiveness is ultimately how successful a leader is at getting what needs to be accomplished through their people at the standard required to achieve targets and objectives.

The path to success is dependent both on what an organization does to support its leaders and how well aligned a leader's profile is to the organization's specific management effectiveness profile for each of the 11 factors. The clearer an organization's human resources process is to the requirements for a specific management effectiveness profile, the more likely leaders selected based on this profile will meet the leadership challenges presented, as well as achieve targeted results.

Bill Howatt (@billhowatt) is chief research and development officer, work force productivity, at Morneau Shepell.