Becoming Extraordinary Leaders

“Becoming Extraordinary Leaders” was the title of the presentation by Jack Zenger at my Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI) training on Friday, Oct. 14, 2011.

The presentation was based on his research and book The Extraordinary Leader : Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders.

Using “The Leadership Tent” as the conceptual framework, Zenger talked about the following five elements of a great leader:

1. Character – The center pole represents the personal character of an individual. It is the core of all leadership effectiveness. A great leader must display integrity and honesty.

2. Personal Capability– This tent pole describes the intellectual, emotional, and skill makeup of the individual. It includes technical and professional expertise, analytical and problem-solving capabilities, ability to create a clear vision and sense of purpose for the organization, and self-development.

3. Focus on Results – This tent pole describes the ability to have an impact on the organization. It means being capable of getting things done, taking initiatives and driving for results.

4. Interpersonal Skills – This tent pole includes all the interpersonal and people skills, such as communicating, inspiring and motivating others to high performance, building relationships, developing others, collaboration and teamwork.

 5. Leading Change – This final tent  pole focuses on an individual’s ability to produce change within an  organization.

Zenger also talked about 10 fatal flaws that consistently lead to leadership failure:

  1. Not inspiring due to a lack of energy and enthusiasm
  2. Accepting mediocre performance in place of excellent results
  3. Lack of clear vision and direction
  4. Loss of trust stemming from perceived bad judgment and poor decisions
  5. Not a collaborative team player
  6. Not a good role model (failure to walk the talk)
  7. No self-development and learning from mistakes
  8. Lacking interpersonal skills
  9. Resistant to new ideas, thus did not lead change or innovate
  10. Focus is on self, not the development of others