A frame of reference for leadership development

Leadership is a difficult task -- this is obvious to anyone who has worked in a position of leadership. Leadership is also complicated, especially when we try to understand what it is basically about and how to develop it. Such difficulty is surely one of the reasons why there are so many ideas, theories, and models about leadership.

Even if this is the case, we believe that it is important to carefully consider how one looks at leadership and which assumptions are made. The frame of reference, which we use in our efforts to supply and develop effective leadership, is simple but, at the same time, firmly anchored in behavioral science research. It begins with the assumption that we always react in a specific situation and from a certain psychological and social standpoint. It is in the interaction of the situation and the person's characteristics, experiences, and values that a mode of action and behavior is formed.

  • The competence inventory

    describes what a person emphasizes in his/her job and which skills or capabilities are his/her strengths or weaknesses. There are however two sides to competence -- the priority given to different job tasks and the way the person acts in the job. The competence inventory is a direct parallel to the demand inventory and describes both a person's priorities and pattern of action (orien­tation).

  • The climate inventory

    describes the capabilities a certain unit or company has for handling work activities and which mode of action characterizes the organization. The climate consists of the most import­ant aspects of the social environment, i.e., the environ­ment within which the given job is performed. If this environ­ment is considered positive, then the conditions for effectiveness in the or­ganization are increased.

  • The motive inventory

    addresses the different job activities a person prefers to work with and which mode of action he/she tries to follow. Motives are important driving forces behind behavior. Naturally, a person can be well qualified for a certain job, but his competence is misused if he doesn't enjoy the work tasks or the prevailing climate.

  • The style inventory

    describes the priorities a person sets in his current work, how he tends to behave, and what strengths and weaknesses he has. As a result, it has to do with the actual behavior -- how the person in question describes his way of handling his current work situation. This behavior results from the interaction between the organization's demands and climate and the person's competences and motives. There is a full version (SA Management), a short version (SA/General) and a specialised on sale behaviour of the style inven­tory.

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  • "A strong leader speaks openly about his/her weaknesses,
    a weak leader tries to hide them."

    Which are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • "A winning” personality is fine, - a winning behaviour is better."

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  • "Leadership is defined by its actions."

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  • "Personality is important, the ability to cope with different situations is even more important."

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