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What is The Leadership Challenge? [Video Interview]

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We were honored to attend HR.Com's LEAD2016 this year and take home awards in both the "Top Leadership Provider" and "Best Global/International Leadership Program" categories for The Leadership Challenge Workshop.

During the awards ceremony, our colleague Bruce Wilson was interviewed and provided a descriptive and succinct overview of the history, research, and benefits that make The Leadership Challenge one of the most trusted and effective leadership programs available today. Check out the 5 minute interview and transcript.


 

History and Core Concepts:

FlashPoint is the number one provider of The Leadership Challenge Workshop® worldwide. We do more of these workshops than anyone in the world.

It might be helpful to give you a brief overview of the history, core concepts and research behind The Leadership Challenge®.

Very briefly, The Leadership Challenge® started as a book nearly 30 years ago. It is considered by many to be among the three or four most influential leadership books ever written, with over 2,000,000 copies sold.

It's based on 30 years of research where the researchers and authors, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, went out and looked for the practices and behaviors that people look for in the leaders that they would willingly want to follow.

They found across culture, gender, ethnicity, generations and industry that there were five practices people look for in leaders they'd willing want to follow. Those are:

  • Model the Way, which speaks to a leader's credibility, how this leader leads by example, their ability to "walk the talk," and how they clearly discuss their values, etc.
  • Inspire a Shared Vision, which shows the importance of a leader's ability to articulate a compelling vision and engender team member buy-in for that vision
  • Challenge the Process, which deals with the leader's ability to create an environment within which innovation thrives
  • Enable Others to Act, which has do with the leader's ability to foster collaboration, build trust, and develop new leaders in the organization
  • Finally, Encourage the Heart, which discusses the leader's ability to provide morale-building recognition and motivation on a consistent basis, again raising levels of engagement and commitment on the part of their team members

All of that was developed into workshops, using all the modalities of 21st century adult learning: Lecture, discussion, and personal reflection, but primarily experiential activity.

It's supported by a highly validated 360-degree assessment called the The Leadership Practices Inventory® (360) or LPI® for short, which measures the frequency of 30 behaviors that demonstrate those five practices - six behaviors for each of the five practices.

The LPI® can be complemented by up to five narrative or essay questions that can be customized to give further feedback to your leaders.

The research shows us that leaders who then go out and more frequently demonstrate those behaviors are:

  • Perceived as more credible by their team members as leaders
  • Able to raise levels of engagement and commitment of team members
  • More likely to be leading a high-performance team, a more efficacious team, a team more likely to achieve their targeted objectives

The Leadership Challenge® and ROI:

In terms of ROI, research has consistently shown that organizations whose senior leadership teams more strongly, more consistently apply The Five Practices® exhibit much higher percentages of net income and stock price growth. 

Lessons Learned:

Very often we're asked what are the lessons learned in the last year? Actually, the lesson learned in the last year is the same lesson we learn every year, which is that leadership is a lifelong journey, it's a process not an event.

Reinforcing and Embedding the Learning: 

After the workshop we have many reinforcement tools. What we really encourage people to do is after taking their initial LPI® assessment, to retake the assessment 9 - 12 months later.

Now they have a benchmark assessment to compare to the original baseline assessment and they can measure their progress over the intervening 9 - 12 months.

That gives them not only measurement, but also, if leaders know they're going to be reassessed, they're more likely to keep their leadership plan top of mind, so it's also reinforcing it.

Going Forward: Open Enrollment Sessions in Sonoma, California

Finally, in the next year, what do we plan to do? We hold four open enrollment sessions a year up in beautiful Sonoma, California and Scottsdale, Arizona. The first two days of the The Leadership Challenge Workshop are for people to go through the workshop and improve their leadership skills and become better leaders. After that, we have a two-day Facilitator Training for those who would like to become a trained facilitator and bring the learning back into their organization. Finally, we have a one-day deep-dive LPI® Coach Training session on the LPI® to better understanding the behaviors and the relationships between them.


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Lauren Parkhill

Lauren Parkhill is FlashPoint’s brand engagement strategist. She curates web, email, and social content to help organizations develop their leaders and teams.

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