“Insight 12. Powerful combinations produce nearly exponential results: Being good at one thing is sufficient for some athletes or musicians, but seldom for leaders. Our research confirmed that a combination of competencies is the key to being highly effective. For example, the person who is focused only on getting results often fails to obtain those results. Why? It is akin to a person attempting to row a boat with one paddle. Instead, good results come from a combination of skills, especially those joining the emphasis on results with strong interpersonal behavior and relationships with people. Neither one, by itself, takes you very far. Together, they produce spectacular outcomes. In one study we found that if you are in the top quartile in Interpersonal Skills but rated poorly on Focus on Results, the likelihood of you been perceived as a great leader is only 9 percent. If you are in the top quartile on Focus on Results but given low ratings on Interpersonal Skills, the likelihood of being perceived as a great leaders is 13 percent. But if you possess both strong Interpersonal Skills and a Focus on Results, then your probability of being perceived as a great leader jumps to 66 percent. It is the powerful combination of those factors that makes a huge difference.
Whether you are working with complex organizations or with one subordinate, there is seldom any one thing responsible for producing a positive outcome.. Instead, it is the combination of several forces that produces desired outcomes. In general, leaders are most effective when they possess strengths in each of the major clusters of competencies.”
As this discussion continues it is important to keep in mind board members influence on the ability/inability of organization leaders to accomplish their mission/vision. The problems they create can interfere with organizational success. One particular problem is that quite often they do not know or understand what an organization does or how they do it.
Often those that express interest in participating on boards have the sole purpose of padding their resume’, or in other words, improving their ability to be considered for higher paying jobs, more influence, including politics.
I bring this up for consideration so that leaders apply a simple process of evaluating potential board members (purpose for those wanting to be considered, personalities, interest, and abilities related to organizational mission, and vision). Board members need to be willing to participate beyond sitting at the table for a board meeting. What level of participation is dependent upon organizational needs, and typically at a level where the board member DOES know ‘what we do’.
Next: The Extraordinary Leader
Turning Good Managers Into Great Leaders
AN OVERVIEW OF IMPORTANT IDEAS IN THIS BOOK