Effective Leadership Article

Help Wanted: Leadership Required

Image of a man holding a red sign that writes 'HELP WANTED' in Capital letters.

Why Leadership is the Secret Ingredient … 

Every business needs at least one Leader.

Logically, businesses with multiple departments need more than one Leader.

The truth is: Leadership exists in each of us.

How many job ads specify Leadership Experience Required?

A lot! Especially at the management level.

In all honesty, if I had weak or no leadership experience, would I admit it in a job application?

Heck, no!

I’d turn my employment history around to the point that I was as strong a leader as Caesar.

I know that unless you are using an assessment like the KITE DISC test to screen applicants, you won’t figure out my pumped-up resume until you’ve hired me, and by then, I’ll have time to dazzle you with my brilliance.

Quote i found rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble augustus 8652

And when you hired me that would be my Waterloo.

And you’d be in a mess and out a bunch of money for lost time, wages and benefits. But, hey! I’m trying to move myself up the in the world, and how am I going to do that if I don’t try? I’ll do better at my next job.

Let’s zero in on where Leadership comes from.

The truth is that we each naturally have leadership talents to some degree. The components of leadership (see below) are true talents, and our level of clarity in each of these talents gives us our overall level of leadership potential.

It’s like weight lifting for your brain.

View the components of Leadership as muscles. Muscles could be strengthened and developed with training. Businesses realize this, and for many years, businesses built their troop of Leaders through Leadership training to strengthen those muscles to be used to the business’ advantage. Then they had a bevy of already-trained Leaders simply waiting to take command of the troops.

So what happened to these Leaders?

2008 happened. One of the first corporate programmes to hit the firing line was professional development, which was also where people received the training needed to strengthen those Leadership muscles. Here’s what happened:

  • Long-time employees who had the Leadership training and ability were let go to save a few bucks in the short-term.
  • Inexperienced workers with no Leadership training or experience got hired at lower wages to fill the empty seats.

Since the thinking was that the 2008 situation was only a short-term glitch, things would get back to normal quickly, right?

Mentor. Train internally. Launch. Um.

Sorry, people. The world changed after 2008. This left business in a lurch. When Leadership problems surfaced, some corporations responded by setting up their own internal Leadership training programmes, perhaps even mentoring potential Leaders.

The problem with these internal programmes: Weak muscles.

Internal programmes need to account for the strength of the Leadership muscles of the employee doing the Leadership training or mentoring. If we assume that the internal person doing the training is not receiving external Leadership development, the internal trainer’s muscle weakness is repeated. Said another way, the internal trainer’s blind spot is repeated. Switching to an impartial professional development programme and removing the weak muscle of the trainer will fix this situation.

How to get an exact reading of individual Leadership talent.

Use a quality assessment. As an example, here’s what you get in our KITEDISCtest247.com Leadership report:

  • Accountability for others: Ability to be responsible for the consequences of the actions of those whom the Leader manages.
  • Balanced decision-making: Ability to be objective and to test the different aspects (people and other) of a situation, and ability to make an ethical decision that takes into account all aspects and components.
  • Developing others: Ability to understand the needs, interests, strengths, and weaknesses of others, and to use this information effectively for developing others.
  • Leading others: Ability to organize and to motivate people to get things accomplished in a way that makes everyone feel a sense of order and direction.
  • Understanding motivational needs: Ability to understand the needs and desires of employees and to use this knowledge to motivate them to succeed.

When Leaders use these talents, clarity on a situation and the Leader’s resulting decisions occur in seconds. If you’ve got a Leader who is not making quick decisions or who is making poor decisions, that’s your sign that your Leader has a weak muscle and needs some development support.

When to use an assessment for Leadership?

There are two points where a business should use an assessment like the KITE product to understand an individual’s Leadership talents:

  • Pre-hire through an Applicant Screening Tool delivers the behavior, motivation and talent of the applicant. This is a huge money-saver for the business because it saves the business wasted man hours talking to applicants who lack the talent for the position, regardless of the work experience, and it saves the business from the consequences of hiring and then firing an untalented person for the position.
  • Post-Leadership training to monitor improvements in the individual’s Leadership muscles and to show the company where more muscle-building is needed.

If you’re hearing about Leadership problems at your business, or if you’re seeing weak Leadership muscles in your business, today is a good day to get started on a Leadership development conversation. Whether you are hiring, promoting, or addressing a Leadership issue, there’s no time like the present to solve one of your company’s biggest management needs: Leadership!

About the author



As a business analyst focusing on talent analytics, Sue Hays Barr has worked with people from across North America and organizations of all sizes. She’s been certified in the administration and analysis of the Innermetrix assessments since 2008, and she uses these validated assessments exclusively to assist businesses and the people who work in them to understand themselves and the people around them, which ultimately leads to greater success. Sue is the co-founder of KITEDISCtest247.com.

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