Use Case

Leadership skills in organisations

In order to develop leadership competencies, the company's goals have to be worked out together with the stakeholders, and the required leadership competencies to achieve the goals have to be defined. In our use case, you will learn how we proceed here.

Leadership competences: Supporting the transfer of corporate values.
Common understanding

What does leadership development mean and why should it be actively shaped?

Nowadays, leadership development seems to be the holy grail of cultural development and is usually part of organizational change. In this way, the requirement for the "company of tomorrow" is transferred to the leaders. Therefore, the same challenges and opportunities apply to the culture development and value transfer processes initially.

In addition to their classic responsibilities and fixed tasks in day-to-day business, managers link the organization and the workforce. Leaders have the responsibility to be role models, to support change, and at the same time to meet the needs of their team.

Leadership development first means a well-positioned cultural development and a clear, consistent expectation of the organization towards itself and towards its leaders. At the same time, both must consistently confront these demands and trigger actions when development is needed. With regular feedback situations, clear responsibilities, and real challenges, it is possible to integrate this development into everyday life. Central to leadership development is, therefore, the constant promotion and demand of goal-oriented development.

The modern way of thinking about leadership (servant leader, being close to the team, etc.) means in this context that leadership development today is team development at the same time.

The current situation in many companies

Requirements without groundwork

Leaders are often promoted to their leadership role because of their experience with the previous job or getting a leadership role because of their qualification through studies. Leadership skills often play a subordinate role in the selection process and their further career. Thus, in the end, it depends on the person him/herself whether he/she wants to develop his/her leadership skills or remain true to his/her usual style.

First of all, it is irrelevant whether the managers are talented or untalented. Both are left alone with their personal preference and do not have to enter into a discourse with the company or their employees. Thus, too much space is given to individual taste and too little to guided development.

Developing actions is rarely initiated based on clear reviews but mostly based on economic KPIs, the manager's self-reflection, and the workshop's name (sounds interesting, but not too strenuous). Without concretely defined behaviors and associated expectations, it is difficult to name the right deficits and acquire the corresponding competencies. Even big words like "people-centred", "lean", "agile", "honesty", "transparency", "teamwork" and many more do not help the individual manager to develop competencies.

Quite the opposite: far too often, companies buy in external service providers who try to implement a predefined and standardized leadership ideal using presentations, workshops, and seminars. In doing so, little attention is paid to fit with the organization's challenges, and, in the worst case, a lot of money is wasted for nothing. zweikern sees the biggest deficit in the desperate attempt to squeeze inflated and distant theories into daily work. Instead, we see the fundamental competence of the individual to generate effective action plans through targeted feedback processes.

zweikern develops the solution

A suitable approach for individual development

A holistic approach is needed to develop leadership competencies. The company's goals have to be worked out together with those involved, and the leadership competencies required to achieve the goals have to be defined. It is, therefore, crucial to know the cultural objectives and the challenges they pose. On this basis, the concrete competencies can now be translated into behaviors to be learned, and the appropriate actions for increasing competences can be implemented.

In developing the goals and a questionnaire, zweikern makes sure that the competencies in question are always changeable and learnable. Instead of diffuse buzzwords, tangible behaviors are used. Not every competence is equally essential for every team and every leadership position. Therefore, individual goals are also decisive in the selection of the development fields.

zweikern offers fast and close-to-work feedback between manager and team with the software zweikern Analytics. That creates a personal development basis to initiate open discussion and practical actions. Leaders and teams simultaneously receive guidance and tips on how to implement the discussion of activities successfully. zweikern also supports managers through topic-related workshops or provides active measure training.

This process creates opportunities for teams to review and evaluate their development actions. The company can monitor this for the whole organization and the individual areas and thus always knows about the progress of the collected development work.

Leaders face their expectations as well as those of their organization and their team. In doing so, they need to develop their behavior to meet all three requirements and therefore require a place to highlight conflicts and evaluate their efforts. zweikern Analytics provides this basis.

With the contents of zweikern and with the help of the tool, a high degree of fit to the person is achieved without losing sight of the overall goal. In this way, the organization develops in a genuinely sustained way from within.

For the elaboration and implementation of this development approach, we recommend the zweikern consultation process, which is outlined again below.

The zweikern consulting process

zweikern inspires with its open and honest attitude, constructive and progressive ideas and professional expertise.

1. Basis

2. Pilot

3. Rollout

4. Transfer

But we are doing quite well

Why should we develop leaders at all?

The topic of competence development is exhausting and requires constant improvement. No easy and quicksilver bullet automatically leads to perfect long-term leaders. Instead, it is a path of continuous failure and progress. At the same time, however, this can create a dynamic in the cooperation between leadership and employees that prevents conflicts, improves cooperation quality, and promotes an open error and conflict culture. It is, therefore, all the more important to constantly and transparently review the path taken so far. Only in this way is it possible to implement actions with a high impact.

Furthermore, a competent leader brings the entire team closer to a healthy organizational culture and represents the team internally and externally. Leadership development, corporate culture, external impact, job satisfaction, and potential change are closely intertwined. We should ultimately ask ourselves how well things could go once we have laid the foundation.

Conclusion and summary

Leadership skills

The competencies for good leadership are not already present in every manager when he or she is promoted. As a rule, already competent leaders also develop obstructive habits. If a leader evaluates his or her weaknesses and strengths and develops his or her competencies on this basis, this also has positive effects for the entire organisation:

  1. The satisfaction of managers and teams increases
  2. Employees identify more strongly with the organization and their work
  3. Leaders can use conflicts constructively
  4. The efficiency of the employees in the cooperation increases
  5. The leader represents the team externally and the organization internally
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