“Weak men act to satisfy their
needs, stronger men their duties.”
There are as many ideas about leadership development, and
its philosophy. Even leadership development consultants and
gurus argue about the definition of leadership whether
leadership is inborn or can be taught what skills are needed
to create a leadership development program and whether
leaders also need to be good followers.
Philosophy is leadership development is an ongoing
process which happens on the inside and on the outside.
The internal part of leadership development is about
transformation through building and developing character
The more self-aware you are the better you are at reading
other people. This is because there is something in the
brain called mirror neurons.
When you see someone’s facial expression, your neuron’s
fire and you can almost “feel” what the other person
feels. A good leader must be able to read other people.
Responsibility is about self-management, and about
owning the problem. In other words as a leader you are
responsible and you have the backs of your employees.
A responsible person knows how to tap into self
awareness and use critical thinking skills to access a
Integrity is the alignment of your thoughts words and
actions. You can tell you aren’t acting from a place of
integrity when what you say you are committed to does
not align with your actions. As a leader you must be aware
of your hidden intentions and competing agendas.
It’s not rocket science yet so many would be leaders do not
exhibit the trait of trustworthiness. In a nutshell this means
that you do what you say you are going to do. that means you
are predictable. Predictability makes people feel safe and the
brain craves a certain amount of certainty.
You know what else makes people feel safe? When they can
speak to you without you blowing up or acting in erratic
ways. So trustworthiness also means you must master your
energy specifically your emotions.
Poor leadership in good times can be
hidden but poor leadership in bad times is
a recipe for disaster.
They are inclined to view others intentions as hostile and
to misinterpret innocent remarks. They question the
loyalty of others . They are typically anxious fearful and
over-sensitive to criticism.
In a crisis they may fail to respond appropriately.
Self-conﬁdence is obviously a strength but arrogance or
over-conﬁdence is a clear weakness. The typically “Overconﬁdent” person lacks a sense of their own limitations,
and they can easily over-reach themselves. In believing
so strongly in their own powers of intellect they may fail
to listen to others and may develop grandiose and
unworkable visions which do not adequately deal with the
underlying complexity of the problems involved.
They may be inﬂexible and have difﬁculty in adapting their
behavior to new circumstances and challenges.
Their emphasis on method and rule-following may limit
their competence in dealing with unstructured situations or
decisions for which inadequate data is available.Their main
problem is likely to be that many other people do not thrive
on being micro-managed. As one progresses to higher levels
of management the style of being a “Micro-manager” tends
to become less successful.
For people in leadership roles helping them develop an
understanding of aspects of their personality which could lead
to derailment and then proactively managing these is an
important part of ensuring stable high performance and career
Assess for derailment factors
When it comes to assessment for senior roles and
identifying individuals with high potential, there is a strong
rationale for including personality assessment as a way of
identifying aspects of their personality which under certain
conditions may derail them.
Focus on reducing business risk
From an organizational perspective ensuring that potential
derailment factors are a key aspect of leadership development is
likely to have clear beneﬁts in terms of managing and reducing
risk to the business. This can help avoid the situations outlined
earlier where clear strengths were acknowledged at the expense
of any behavioral areas for concern.
Coaching and development
In a developmental context addressing potential derailment
factors is not simply a case of sending someone on a training
course to learn some useful skills (although this has its place).
Rather considerable personal development and experiential
learning is likely to be required for someone to learn to accept
better understand and ﬁnally manage their derailment factors.