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Category Archives: Psychometric

Article Reprint from HR.COM’s Leadership Excellence Essentials

 

3 things that can create great leaders
by Randy Sabourin

cover

We have all witnessed, or experienced, Leadership Development Programs at organizations that miss the mark. Although designed using valid processes- evaluate what we have today and train the gaps to create the Leaders of tomorrow- somehow the return on investment is not enough. 

Young executives who have become good leaders early in their career have an intuitive sense about how to lead. Although pragmatic about learning, they often reject a content based ‘do it this way’ approach to leadership development. They feel they are unique and haven’t gotten this far by doing everything the same way everyone else has. There is also the brash young ‘know it all’ executive leader: Full of hubris, too high on control and unwilling to consider others’ input. Their reaction to classroom training is much same, perhaps with the exception of the pragmatic approach to new learning. Leadership Development programs fail for what they don’t give new leaders, not from a lack of the right content. Increasing business acumen (reading balance sheet, cash flow, budgets, etc.) or learning a company wide system coaching process is great content to learn, however, understanding these things will not produce a leader. There are three things that can create great leaders. 

First: Know Thyself

read the rest of the reprint 

Personality Wins

by Colleen Coman

thumbs-upA recent BMO Bank of Montreal survey revealed that personality traits outrank both credentials and education for many employers who are looking to hire new graduates. In fact, for employers in Canada’s service sector, the personality traits of a new graduate will hold almost twice as much sway as  the next most important factor, their skill set (28 per cent and 16 per cent respectively, see chart below).  Skills and processes can be learned.  Who you are and how you relate with others is harder to change.  At e-roleplay, this is something we’ve always known, and it reflects the increasing investment that our clients are making in behavioral testing and ongoing coaching of new hires. (survey) Continue reading

Business Improvisation Research Paper

By Randy Sabourin

Attentional and Interpersonal Characteristics of Improvisation Professionals vs. Business Executives [What Executives can learn from Improvisation Professionals]Randy Sabourin, with Robin W. Pratt, Ph.D,

Executive Summary:

The business world is constantly searching for ways to expand the skills of its leaders. “Business Improvisation”, performance under pressure combined with the creative process, is becoming increasingly popular as a strategy to resolve unexpected leadership challenges. A promising approach to teaching new skills in an experiential manner is using improvisation exercises. Accordingly, we felt it valuable to study the characteristics of skilled improvisation professionals to see which ones might be applicable to leaders in business.

In order to see if we can identify characteristics that differentiate improvisation professionals from business executives, we studied a group of active, professional improvisers. We used a performance under pressure based psychometric inventory with these improvisation professionals, one that has consistently differentiated among elite performers in sports, the military, and business. We compared the profile or pattern of scores for these improvisation veterans with the data we had for senior executives in various corporations around the world. Continue reading

The 3 Things Missing From Your Leadership Development Program.

by Randy Sabourin

We have all witnessed, or experienced, Leadership Development Programs at organizations that miss the mark. Although designed using valid processes- evaluate what we have today and train the gaps to create the Leaders of tomorrow- somehow the return on investment is not enough.

superduper

Young executives who have become good leaders early in their career have an intuitive sense about how to lead. Although pragmatic about learning, they often reject a content based ‘do it this way’ approach to leadership development. They feel they are unique and haven’t gotten this far by doing everything the same way everyone else has. There is also the brash young ‘know it all’ executive leader: full of hubris, too high on control and unwilling to consider other’s input. Their reaction to classroom training is much same, perhaps with the exception of the pragmatic approach to new learning.

Leadership Development programs fail for what they don’t give new leaders, not from a lack of the right content. Increasing business acumen (reading balance sheet, cash flow, budgets, etc.) or learning a companywide system coaching process is great content to learn, however, understanding these things will not produce a leader. There are three things that can create great leaders. Continue reading

Leadership, Change and the Placebo Effect

By Randy Sabourin

Leading change is one of the most difficult tasks faced by every level in an organization. Traditional ‘carrot & stick’ and humanism behaviour motivation is being replaced by a ‘brain based’ neuropsychology approach. Discussion and research continues on why we resist change and the often predictably irrational opposition seen when an organization adopts new strategies or systems. The placebo effect is a powerful phenomenon that may be an additional tool to assist us in realizing our change objectives.

The placebo effect has been a well documented phenomenon in the medical and scientific community for several decades. It can be defined as “the physiological or psychological response to an inert substance or procedure”. For quite some time, it has been observed that administering a remedy with no medical value (a sugar pill) can have positive results because the patient ‘assumes’ they feel the effect of the drug they believe they are taking. Although employed as a “commonplace method or medicine” as early as the 18th century, it was first brought into modern medicine context by an army nurse during the Second World War who lied about administering pain-killers to wounded soldiers. The soldiers would report a significant reduction in pain despite being given saline.  Placebos are an important aspect of the drug approval and research process known as the “blind” study. Over the last decade pharmaceutical companies have been struggling with the increase in the effectiveness of placebos in blind studies during Phase II and Phrase III drug trials. Half of all drugs that fail these late-stage trials drop out of the pipeline due to their inability to beat placebos. Continue reading

Your Brain On Improvisation

Musician and researcher Charles Limb wondered how the brain works during musical bimprovimprovisation — so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an MRI to find out. What he and his team found has deep implications for our understanding of creativity of all kinds: Your Brain On Improv

Other Charles Limb-related Articles:

Music on the Mind – Hopkins Medicine Magazine

Keynote: The Creationist – John Hopkins scientist Charles Limb on the music in his mind – The Urbanite

Your Brain On Jazz: Neural Substrates Of Spontaneous Improvisation – Podcast from the Library of Congress

 

Leadership Self-Awareness

By Randy Sabourin

I often find myself in the situation of giving professional advice on who in a group of “up and coming” professionals will be a good leader. I coach executives in large and small organizations in a variety of marketplaces and there seems to be one critical common denominator among these leaders: the more self-aware they are about their strengths and weaknesses, the more successful they are. More than this, however, these individuals are not only self-aware, they are willing to do something with their self-knowledge.

Being self-aware is a little more difficult than introducing yourself to yourself in the mirror or than reading (and dismissing) your latest 360 evaluation. Understanding yourself is a complex and ongoing process, one you need to be dedicated to in order to see results. I recently tried an app that tracks the calories you take in at every meal. I’ve never been a dieter, but I found the process very interesting because I became aware of what I was eating, when I was eating and what my caloric intake was. Based on that information, I started making decisions about what or how much I would eat: I became aware of what I was eating. As the experience continued, I recorded the details of each meal less and less frequently: I felt I had gained an understanding and didn’t need the feedback/monitoring any longer. Sure enough, the success I had gained by being aware soon faded and I was back to the same eating habits. I started using the app again and I became back in the groove: reaching my goals, staying aware, and receiving positive reinforcement.  The same awareness and feedback cycle is needed in order to increase your leadership self-awareness. Continue reading

Leadership Coaching: The “Follower” Based Model

by Cameron O. Anderson and Randy G.J. Sabourin

The rules for work are changing. We’re being judged by a new yardstick; not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle each other and ourselves. –Daniel Goleman

Corporate leaders face a future where the performance of their organization will rely on the ability to adapt their behavioral styles to meet the needs of their direct reports. Getting the most from an individual or your team means first having a way to understand yourself while accepting responsibility for the success or more importantly, the failure of business relationships.  The interactions of people within a team or externally with clients or other stakeholders does not fall into the same classification as controlling manufacturing quality or forecasting enterprise resources. If we accept that everyone is unique (as we believe ourselves to be) how can we apply the same coaching advice, or sales training, or decision making processes to everyone the same way. It is tried daily, and fails daily.

While “rapid cognition” and intuition are important elements of management coaching in today’s rapid fire environments, relying on experiences and values-based techniques for problem solving, learning and discovery (aka heuristics) is only part of it.  A reliable, repeatable process for positively impacting the behaviors of staff includes a full self-understanding of the coach. A typical management leadership failure often sounds like “…everyone is great at their jobs but they can’t work together… there tends to be too much unhealthy conflict and politics”. Continue reading

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