Want to start reading immediately? Get a FREE ebook with your print copy when you select the "bundle" option. T+Cs apply.
The Integrated Leadership Model and Measure
Leadership is a topic which is high on the agenda for most organisations. It’s difficult to pick up a respectable magazine or journal and not find in it some reference.
The one thing we are not short of is leadership models and advice. There is a huge choice available and more emerge almost weekly.
All the models have appeal and most seem to contribute something to our understanding of leadership. This is particularly true of behavioural models. But there is very little solid objective evidence to support any one particular picture of leadership style and behaviour.
Another issue is that many of the models appear to overlap or look at the same aspect of leadership from a different perspective. The connections between models are rarely made.
Small wonder then that Augier and Teece said in 2005 “as a scientific concept, leadership is a mess”. Provoked by a discussion with the Institute of Leadership and Management searching for a leadership measure, AQR International launched a major study to examine these issues.
Carried out under the supervision of Professor Peter Clough the study examined the main leadership models (academic and practitioner models) from around the world.
A key element was to analyse these models by stripping them down to their bare components. The analysis showed that all the models examined had their roots in one or more of 6 common themes.
The results were extremely interesting.
Analysis showed that there is no particular combination of style which correlated uniquely with high performance. The indication is that leadership style is situational and it is adopted. Different profiles might work better in different situations.
Usefully ILM72 profiles can be aggregated to form a picture of the leadership style of a group.
How important achieving goals is to the leader
The Means v. The End
What the leader believes is the prime path to motivation
The Task v. The Person
How leaders will engage with others
Flexible v. Dogmatic
The extent to which leaders need to be in control
De-Centralised v. Centralised
The leaders preferred approach to recognition
Reward v. Punishment
How important structure is to the leader
Structured v. Organic
If one examines most popular leadership models they will have their roots in one or more of these six specific scales which appear to define leadership style.
Literally, thousands of definitions exist. Most definitions focus on two themes. Leadership is about performance (particularly improving performance) and about achieving this through followers.
There is an obvious value in looking at leadership in this way.
Firstly, his macro view focuses on what is important about leadership and helps to keep thinking about leadership in perspective.
Secondly, it helps us to understand what is unique about leadership and how it differs from most people’s view of management. What is becoming apparent is that more and more organisations are beginning to understand its value in developing the business.
Leadership – Core Requirements – the Global Factors
Once the data analysis to confirm the specific scales had been completed a further analysis revealed that there were 3 over-arching (second order) relationships emerging from the study.
These are shown below:
Determination to Deliver
This describes a single-minded determination to achieve. Most satisfaction – the individuals and the followers – is derived from this.
Engagement with Individuals
This describes enhancing the capability, confidence and commitment of individuals to enable them to perform and to fulfil themselves.
Engagement with Teams
The emphasis is on cross-functional team working – a leader knows and supports how people work together across the organisation
Assessing Leadership Style
An important and valuable by-product of the work carried out has led to the development of a normative questionnaire (ILM72) which can measures individuals (and organisations) in terms of the six specific scales (style) and the 3 global scales.
The challenge for business is to grasp more effectively what is leadership and what it can do for the organisation. Then to assess where they are and to introduce interventions that develop leadership style and behaviour in a predictable way.