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What would happen if existing and future leadership programs were centered around a results-based model of leadership instead of a competency-based one?


Think for a moment of a leader you appreciate or admire. Then jot down three of his or her qualities that make this person a leader to you.

If you were in a group of three or more, do you believe everyone would identify the same person as a leader? Would they list exactly the same three qualities?

From my experience, the answer is a resounding no.

What really needs to happen is to change the 19th and 20th-century mindset about what makes a good leader. In the past, the focus was on competencies or skills.

Yet we know different leaders with different skills or competencies are quite successful. So where do we start with this change of mindset?

As Stephen Covey has said,  “begin with the end in mind.”

What would happen if existing and future leadership programs were centered around a results-based model of leadership instead of a competency-based one? Would:

  • this change in paradigm work with the natural or developed talents of the existing workforce instead of forcing some into the square peg in a round hole way of thinking and doing?
  • the innate potential residing within each individual be released instead of being confined or conformed to the existing status quo?
  • employees begin to feel valued as contributors to the bottom line instead of believing their efforts do not make a difference?

Noted business management guru Peter Drucker once wrote, “Leadership is all about results.”

If businesses, micro-small and big guns alike, cannot secure desired results, they will not be competitive and will eventually go out of business.

Organizations should define their desired results first, then grow the people through development and supporting processes. In doing so, they will be taking the first steps to ensure the achievement of those results.

The authors of the book “Fail-Safe Leadership” compare a competency-based leadership model to a results-based leadership model.

Obviously, the results-based leadership model is forward-thinking where the competency model is the status quo. However, one of the key differences between the two models is the presence of alignment within a results-based model.

Misalignment is one of the most obvious problems in many organizations. Of course, a results-based model looks to measure all results, whereas measuring results using a competency model is difficult.

Leave the old, traditional sales leadership model and embrace one that actually works in the fast-paced, ever-changing 21st century. It just makes good business sense.

Yet, I wonder how many will continue to do what they have always done while still hoping for different results.

About the author

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Leanne Hoagland-Smith has over 25 years in sales. Her true joy is selling and…

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