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Leadership Profiling

Do you need to profile your leadership team?

Are you aware of your leadership teams strengths and weaknesses? Do you know where your team's skill gaps lie? Do you know what to do about the gaps?

At Diversity+ we are often asked by businesses to help them improve their D & I objectives. Our recent partnerships with organisations have highlighted one growing concern: businesses don’t know what skills they have and what they need from their leaders.

It would seem that too often leadership teams are put together haphazardly or have grown without enough thought given to how they will work together. This leads to individuals working in isolation and common goals being missed or worse, failing. Further complications arise when, due to a lack of direction and cohesion, team leaders branch out on their own creating mistrust and unhealthy internal rivalry.

It need not be like this. By introducing a few innovative techniques, leadership profiling can help you not only create a cohesive team structure but also plan ahead for growth and succession.

What is leadership profiling? It is a way of assessing which attributes leaders within your organisation have or should have. It can be used as a checklist during the hiring or promoting process, but equally it can be used to evaluate current leaders to help evaluate current and future leadership needs.

Why is it important? If used correctly, profiling can play a critical role in leadership development and retention. Many advantages can be gained from a fairly simple exercise, for example, identifying existing and future skill gaps. It is often described as an art rather than a science.

How do we do this? The do’s and don’ts

The do’s:

1. Design a leadership profile for each role. This need not be complex. A simple checklist of the key attributes that particular individual will need to do well in the role will suffice

2. Discuss the profile with key individuals and get their input

4. Assess the profile against existing team leaders to find gaps

5. Find solutions for those gaps

The don’ts:

1. Do not do this internally as an add on to your HR team’s responsibilities. From experience this leads to further mistrust, divisions and allegations of abuse of process. I see you rolling your eyes thinking this is a plug for our services but give it a go and see the results.

2. Do not do this as a big internal shake up. That would be too onerous to the business. See this as a marathon not a sprint; one step towards long term goals.

3. Do not send in a ‘sweeper up’. Plan carefully who is doing the profiling. You are working on people’s behaviours and attributes; you need someone your leaders will trust and speak openly with

4. Do not brush the findings under the carpet if you don’t like the results. Face reality and do something about the gaps

Lastly, leaders are people and are there to lead others. Their skills (or indeed gaps) will have a direct impact on your workforce and as a result on your productivity and future growth. Think for a moment the wasted energy and time ineffective leadership causes your organisation. The tea breaks spent talking about a leader’s failures and the upset that causes. The lunchtimes spent redoing work because a leader failed to give proper direction. Or more concerning, the growing anxiety and sleepless nights because of a leader’s personality traits that do not align with your businesses ethos and fosters a toxic workplace culture.

Want to know more? Get in touch.

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