Most research agrees that what differentiates successful leaders is not so much their philosophy of leadership, their personality, or their style of management. Rather, the key difference is how they inquire into and interpret their environment and how they react when their power or safety is challenged. In our experience few leaders try to understand their own mental model for inquiry and meaning making and fewer still have explored the possibility of changing it. Yet a leader’s capacity to deal with complexity and ability to think strategically is closely related to this internal model of meaning making.
We have been looking for a suitable tool to assists leaders in developing this capacity and became aware of the Harthill Leadership Development Profile (LDP) in 2014 and decided to get certification to use and debrief the tool. This tool is unique in being able to discern the underlying ‘action logic’ of how we view and try to understand the world around us. This ‘action logic’ is not fixed, it changes in line with our cognitive development in adulthood. The tool can be used both to understand where a leader is currently at and to help reach the next stage in development. A good introduction to the model can be found in the HBR article ‘The Seven Transformations of Leadership‘.
To see how critical it is for companies to know where their senior leaders are at on this journey, take a look at the recent PWC report ‘The Hidden Talent‘ which explores why so many leaders who have reached the Strategist stage leave large organisations and become (independent) consultants instead.
We believe that the Harthill LDP is an excellent tool to assist in the development of senior leaders and also as part of talent development programs. The tool has been used by Leadership Victoria in it’s much sought-after Williamson Leadership program for the last few years. If you would like more information about this tool and how it can be integrated into existing programs, please contact us.