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Leaders Building Self-awareness to Individual and Organizational Results

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Leaders Building Self-awareness to Individual and Organizational Results

Leaderview Mindset

This blog is a companion to the four-part interview series, “Leaders Building Self-awareness by Stepping Through the Worldview Membrane: Learning to Engage your Organization,” with Christopher and Sheila Cooke on the VoiceAmerica Business Leadership show “Innovative Leaders Driving Thriving Organizations,” begins July 12. The first interview is a conversation about personal freedom and flow, and how they used the online LeaderView Self-Assessment to build it. This conversation includes a discussion of how the assessment helps leaders discover their leadership strengths and biases. This blog is a companion to the interview series.

This model and approach are pulled from the Innovative Leadership Workbook for Emerging Leaders. Before moving to the assessment, I wanted to provide a post on how we use assessments in the leadership development process. The process shown below suggests that the first part of the development process involves creating a compelling vision for yourself for your future. If you don’t have one, we recommend using the information in this post as the foundation for assessment and analysis.

Development process

To validate your vision, we find that reading futurist publications in specific industries is helpful. The role of the futurist is to evaluate current trends and build possible scenarios for how the future might unfold. By building on your capacities for leadership, you can use these scenarios as part of your planning process to provide insight into overall societal trends, ensure that you are well prepared for the potential impact of ever-changing business conditions, and suggest imminent scenarios that help you navigate those trends effectively.

There are several organizations providing very effective views into the future. One that we regularly reference is The Arlington Institute (TAI), founded in 1989 by futurist John L. Petersen. It is a nonprofit research institute that specializes in thinking about global futures and creating conditions to influence rapid, positive change. They encourage systemic, non-linear approaches to planning and believe that effective thinking about the future is enhanced by applying emerging technology. TAI strives to be an effective agent of advancement by creating intellectual frameworks and toolsets for understanding the transition in which we are living.

Once you develop (or refine) your vision, it is time to examine your strengths and development opportunities. This step will help you refine and clarify those strengths and weaknesses. In the interview series, we will be walking through the assessment process using the LeaderView assessment tool set. Once you take the assessment, you will then decide which areas you would like to improve by building on what you already do well and addressing weaknesses. Your approach to development will depend on the assessment results and what you need to be and do to accomplish your vision while living your values

We recommend using a general guideline that focuses 80 percent of your effort on building your existing strengths and 20 percent on addressing weaker areas. Though this a general approximation, the 80/20 rule is a directional one stemming from the belief that you are already successful and have simply taken the opportunity to further advance and refine your capabilities. If you find serious deficiencies, it will be important to address them quickly.

It is important to combine your vision with a firm understanding of your current performance,
abilities, and personality type. The data will help you become more aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and also clarify how others see you. By looking at your vision in conjunction with your assessment results, you should have the data required (or a solid start) to determine the gap between your current state (based on assessment data) and your vision.

Now to focus on the assessment process. One of the major values of using objective assessments is to uncover unconscious biases—our way of seeing the world that we believe is innate and shared by others is actually unique to each of us. These biases influence all that you do. Research since the late 1970’s has shown that such biases are actually the basis of your leadership strengths. Through a process of assessment and self-discovery, leaders build self-awareness, learn what it means to step through the worldview membrane, and learn how to dramatically increase engagement in their organizations.
So, now to the interview series. This four-part series that will walk you through the process of taking the LeaderView assessment, interpreting it, and getting feedback from others as the foundation to support leadership behavioral change. After explaining the assessment tool and flow of the four-part series, the Cookes introduce two participants, Carla Morelli and Jim Svagerko, both accomplished leaders who took the assessment and share their development process with listeners. This conversation includes their discovery of how “adaptive intelligences,” or how we adapt to challenges we face, influence all that they think, say, and do. Morelli and Svagerko gain insight into the leadership signature they are next naturally growing into as well as appreciating the richness of their natural leadership, learning, emotional, organizational, decision-making, relationship, creative, and motivational biases. This process allows them to “listen in” to discussions with actual leaders discussing their development process.

We are very excited to share the step-by-step process of assessment and feedback with you, our readers and listeners. You can now get the value of the expert coaching of Christopher and Sheila and also listen into two very accomplished leaders. To take the LeaderView Assessment, just log onto the site created for the show and purchase the assessment to follow along. In addition, you will get an interpretation and planning manual. The assessment cost, including two participants giving 360 feedback, is $40.80 which is a 20 percent discount off the normal rate. You can also learn more about the show layout at the website

Author Information
Maureen Metcalf, founder and CEO of Metcalf & Associates, Inc., is a renowned executive advisor, author, speaker, and coach who brings thirty years of business experience to provide high-impact, practical solutions that support her clients’ leadership development and organizational transformations. She is recognized as an innovative, principled thought leader who combines intellectual rigor and discipline with an ability to translate theory into practice. Her operational skills are coupled with the strategic ability to analyze, develop, and implement successful strategies for profitability, growth, and sustainability.

In addition to working as an executive advisor, Maureen designs and teaches MBA classes in Leadership and Organizational Transformation. She is also the host of an international radio show focusing on innovative leadership, and the author of an award-winning book series on Innovative Leadership, including the Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, winner of a 2014 International Book Award.

Innovative Leadership: Staying Current as a Leader by Maureen Metcalf

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Innovative Leadership: Staying Current as a Leader by Maureen Metcalf

Vision cc RachelVoorees

This post is written as a companion to the Voice America Interview featuring Carla Morelli and Maureen Metcalf talking about staying current as a leader. In this interview, the participants discuss the Innovative Leadership framework and how leaders innovate or update their leadership mindset and abilities. This post was written by Maureen Metcalf talking about her practice of refreshing her leadership vision – a process she has written about in her award winning book series focusing on Innovative Leadership.

My vision and values serve as an important foundation for who I am and how I live my life. As the CEO of my company and also as a leadership faculty member, it is important for me to live what I teach. This is one of the core practices. I also revisit it regularly to ensure I am living what I say.

For those of you who resist this process, it is true that you will not spend an hour over the weekend and suddenly determine your life purpose, however, capturing your general direction is a great start and you can refine it over time.

A colleague and friend, Mike Sayre, CEO of NexDefense, talks about how he used his personal vision to select his current role. He has been a strong proponent of the importance of knowing and living your personal vision and sharing it with others so they know what to expect of you. You can listen to Mike talk about his vision as well as his company in a Voice America Interview.  He is a great example of a leader who follows his vision as the foundation for his choices.

The following exercise is drawn from the Innovative Leadership Workbook for Global Leaders.

Define Personal Vision

Follow the steps defined below:
•Step 1: Create a picture of your future. Imagine yourself at the end of your life. You are looking back and imagining what you have done and the results you have created.◦What is the thing you are proudest of?
◦Did you have a family?
◦What would your family say about you?
◦What did you accomplish professionally?
◦What would your friends say about you?

For the rest of this exercise, let that future person speak to you and help you set a path that will enable you to look back with pride and say things like, “I feel fulfilled and at peace. I lived my life well.”
•Step 2: Write a story. Now that you have that image of what you will accomplish, write a brief story about your successful life. Include details about the questions above. Make it a story of what you went through to accomplish each of the results for the questions you answered. What you are trying to create is a roadmap for your journey that gives you more insight into what you want if you had the option to design your perfect life.◦Who helped you along the way?
◦What did you enjoy about your daily life?
◦Who was closest to you?
◦What feelings did you have as you accomplished each milestone along the way?
◦How did you mentor others and contribute to the success of others?
◦What did you do to maintain your health?
◦What role did spirituality or religion play in your journey?
◦What job did you have?
◦What role did material success play in your life?
◦What type of person were you (kind, caring, driven, gracious)?

•Step 3: Describe your personal vision. Given the story you have written and the qualities you demonstrated as a person, write a two to five sentence life purpose statement—a statement that talks about your highest priorities in life and your inspirations. This statement should capture the essence of how you want to live your life and project yourself.

An example – I develop myself to my greatest capacity and help others develop and thrive in all aspects of their lives. I am wise, conscious, compassionate and courageous, and contribute to making the world a better place.
•Step 4:  Expand and clarify your vision. If you are like most people, the choices you wrote are a mixture of selfless and self-centered elements. People sometimes ask, “Is it all right to want to be covered in jewels, or to own a luxury car?” Part of the purpose of this exercise is to suspend your judgment about what is “worth” desiring, and to ask instead which aspect of these visions is closest to your deepest desire. To find out, ask yourself the following questions about each element before going on to the next one: If I could have it now, would I take it?

Some elements of your vision don’t make it past this question. Others pass the test conditionally: “Yes, I want it, but only if…”  Others pass, however are clarified in the process.

As you complete this exercise, refine your vision to reflect any changes you want to make.

After defining and clarifying your vision, it is time to consider your personal values. The combination of these two exercises will help you create the foundation of what you want to accomplish and the core principles that guide your actions as you work toward your vision.

For me, as the person who runs a company focusing on helping leaders innovate how they lead to create thriving organizations, my vision centers around first building myself as an exceptional leader then dedicating my professional energies to helping others build their leadership skills and concurrently transform their organizations into regenerating organizations that will thrive well into the future.

I believe we are living in a time of massive change in most spheres of our lives and this change creates opportunities for us to make a significant impact on the world through our efforts. Our efforts at developing and becoming more effective leaders increase the probability of creating positive change in the world for the next generation. This vision is something that inspires me and propels me forward on good days and bad. If I actually accomplish this goal and others are more effective because of my work, I will feel good about the hours of my life dedicated to work.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills.

About Metcalf
Metcalf & Associates, Inc., is a leadership development and management consulting firm that uses an integrative approach to help leaders and their organizations innovate how they lead and how they operate, helping them thrive in a rapidly changing environment. CEO Maureen Metcalf is an acclaimed thought leader who has developed, tested and implemented emerging models that dramatically improve leaders and contribute to organizational success. Visit www.innovativeleadershipfieldbook.com to find out more about Metcalf & Associates and all the workbooks in the series.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com RachaelVoorhees

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