No Framework for Leadership

A small subset of skills governs leadership success among frontline leaders10

Despite numerous models and theories, there is no common language for understanding what leadership is. Published articles and books don’t provide a leadership framework that effectively covers today’s VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous33). And they offer no actionable methodology for developing leaders that organisations urgently need25.

Several flawed assumptions concerning leadership interfered with the attempt to understand what leadership is all about21,51. Leadership competency models typically cover behavioural descriptions under 6 to 16 or more headings9. A recent literature review identified 69 leadership attributes21. This conventional path to leadership is too complex and impractical.

Leadership development that’s a mile wide and an inch deep moves a leader only from good to a bit better - Jim Clemmer9

Six Intrinsic Dimensions of Leadership

Our award-winning six-dimensional model embeds all the diverse aspects of leadership in a simple framework21,25. It is based on a psychodynamic approach to intrinsic leadership development that includes human energy, motivation and behaviour11.

This simple model is easy to understand and apply across any organisation in any field of activity. It covers the six intrinsic leadership qualities symbolised by:

  • Heart symbolises compassion, caring for the environment, and the empathy to connect with others non-judgementally.
  • Mind symbolises concrete, abstract, emotional and spiritual intelligence that nurtures intuition, creativity and innovation.
  • Body houses the energy centres called chakras that govern all physical and mental abilities.
  • Passion is the emotional fuel to achieve outstanding results by aligning hearts, minds, beliefs and efforts.
  • Focus is the convergence of beliefs, resources and effort for achieving ambitious goals despite setbacks.
  • Health implies natural health without drugs, despite stressful working conditions.

Improving these six intrinsic qualities is the gateway to developing the two most important attributes of modern-day leaders25:

  • Wisdom(knowing what to do next under VUCA conditions);
  • Skills (knowing how to do it, or get it done).

For example, award-winning film directors use their Wisdom and Skills to lead talented teams of actors, cinematographers, editors, etc. to reach award-winning performance standards.

Great leaders bring out the inner wisdom of those they lead – Garret Kramer17

Wisdom-Skills Matrix

This simple tool provides a practical framework for identifying leadership potential and the associated training needs in terms of hard and soft skills25.

Hard Skills comprise of work-related knowledge, skills, tools and processes. These are important for producing superior products and services through innovative use of technology, marketing, and organisational structures.

Soft skills are the competencies that hold the key to success in a VUCA world. Inner Soft Skills are the intuitive, emotional, attitudinal and behavioural intrapersonal competencies that build personal energy and confidence. Outer soft skills are the interpersonal competencies needed for communicating with and influencing others.

Wisdom stems mainly from intuitive soft skills guided by work-related hard skills and experience. Without Wisdom, a person could strive to address wrong issues and solve irrelevant problems.

Skills relate to work-related hard skills tempered with insights gained through soft skills. Without Skills, a person will not be able solve problems and produce results, or guide others to do so.

Our Framework for Leadership Development

Five experiential workshops produce leaders armed with the Wisdom and Skills needed to lead their teams to higher levels of success in today’s VUCA world. These workshops develop all the skills leaders need to inspire and help their teams to boost organisational performance, even under unfavourable conditions.

There is no evidence that leadership is anything more than shorthand for a basket of quite disparate skills and abilities – Bruce Fleming12