When I first started coaching, I cut my teeth coaching senior managers working in life-and-limb, high end compliance government and semi government roles. My clients were very smart, savvy, educated, well read, technically qualified heavy hitters in high pressure jobs so you can imagine they were hyper-critical of anything to do with soft skills development. And very wary of anything woo-woo like psych based interventions.
And especially gun-shy of anything called faulty beliefs, arguments for limitations, rationalising and comfort zones. But …
… they were running into staffing problems, morale issues, productivity issues and personality clashes. Their bosses were complaining about poor attitude, over zealous ready-fire-aim knee jerk responses or delayed responses to burning platform issues.
“Can you help?”
The common complaint I heard was, “If these guys are so smart why do so many dumb things?” In the search to unravel the performance issues they had sought the use of psychometric and personality instruments such as Myers Briggs, DISC, Melville, Hogan etc. The question was, “Can you tell me what’s going on with Fred? What’s working? What isn’t? What does he need to work on?” And: “Can you help him?”
In 1998, I was using a battery of standard personality inventories but it quickly became apparent that they were interesting but not relevant to my clients. I also felt that as good as they were they were designed by academics – people who’d never run a business.
So I created a hybrid indicator designed to answer the question, “Can you lead?” It was primarily designed to identify your faulty beliefs and where you go under pressure.
It sits below personality inventories. In a sense I am not interested in what your personality type is: I am interested in how you cope under pressure in a leadership role.
The other challenge was to fly well under the radar of managers who had been tested and tested again and were now cynical of ‘tests’. Hardened managers had to see the report and say, “Yes, that’s me. That’s exactly me. That’s exactly what I do.”
The Business Leadership Profile (BLP)
The tool I created is called the Business Leadership Profile (BLP) and it tests two robust factors of leadership: task (the ability to get things done); and relationships (the ability to influence and work with others). Specifically it measures 36 traits associated with high performance in a business leadership role. More on what it does and how later. Today its enough to know it accurate identifies faulty thinking that leads to erroneous behaviour in a leadership role.
The way it works is you answer a bunch of questions and your answers generate a series of charts.
The chart is very easy to understand. On each page is a scale of 0-100% and a pink bar which is set at around the 75% mark. If the purple bars are inside the pink zone that’s a good game. If the bars are outside the pink zone – high or low – that indicates coaching targets. Have a look at the chart below.
You can see that most of the bars are outside the pink line on the low side.
What’s your attitude like?
The first bar measures your Attitude and this person scored about 50%. Attitude measures positivity and optimism and a low score is trending towards negative and critical. You’ve worked with someone like this. Great ideas work for everyone else except them! They always have a reason why your ideas won’t work. They are basically high maintenance.
At 50%, this person needs to work on their attitude. They actually have to force them self to think positively because under pressure they will automatically go to the negative.
Are you responsive to problems?
The second bar measures Responsiveness and again this is a very low score.This score definitely indicates that you will be having problems in your business. In most businesses there are really only four places where problems show up on a routine basis:
- Marketing and Sales
- Management, Administration and Staffing
- Operations, Logistics and IT
- Financial Control
This chart says there will be problems in those four areas and this person – like Ron and Jane – will be nice-guying problems, meaning they will be taking too long to respond to the problems. A score that’s too high would look like ready-fire-aim!
Are your proactive or reactive?
The Proactive score tells me that this person always has an excuse as to why they are not to blame. It’s always someone else’s fault. A high side score would suggest someone who has the4 attitude of “If you need a job doing properly you have to do it yourself.” Or “You just can’t get good people.” The problem is they isolate themselves and everyone around them ends up demotivated. The message they put out is, “You’re not good enough.”
Can you be straight forward with others?
They are not Straight Forward or direct in their communication. I’m not saying they are a liar, but they are not comfortable telling it like it is. A high score would be using a mallet to kill an ant type communication!
Are you what’s in it for me or whats in it for others?
The low Centredness score says Bill is in it for Bill. Too high and Bill will put the needs and priorities of others ahead of his own beyond good judgement.
Are you a team player? Can you build team?
Same with the Team score. A low score says you feel let down or you are under resourced or you just aren’t a team player. A high score says you will put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own.
All of these are faulty beliefs that create a negative commercial impact.
So if you want to know what your faulty beliefs are as they relate to you in a leadership role, this is a great place to start. It removes the guesswork. And it’s accurate. How do I know? Because I’ve done over 26,000 BLPs and people always say “Bang on.”
But its accurate because you answered the questions.
I don’t want this to be a pitch but this is a proven, expedient method to fast track insights and is used as the basis for a coaching programme. No guesswork.
Studies tell us that most coaches waste 80% of their time working on the wrong problems. And working on the wrong problem is the problem.
OK, YOUR TURN
On a scale of 1-100 give your self a score for your Attitude, Responsiveness to Problems, Proactivity, Straight Forward, Focus on Others and Team Spirit. What doe sit look like? Tomorrow we’re going on a joy flight.
Andrew Priestley is a qualified business leadership coach with clients worldwide. He is the author of The Money Chimp, Starting and How Money Flows Through Your Business. You can contact him through www.andrewpriestley.com
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It goes without saying that this is for information only and The Author cannot be held responsible for any losses or damages that occur as a result of reading this material.
© 2017 Andrew Priestley/TCE Ltd