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Identify and train effective leaders [Part 2 of 3]

Succession planning and developing a sustainable business depend on finding and training new leaders.  Global Knowledge International Vice-President of leadership and business solutions Jocelyn Bérard discusses some of the key traits and skills, as outlined in his book, Accelerating Leadership Development.

To learn more practical and effective ways to accelerate leadership development join Bérard for the “Getting There Faster” Webinar on October 1.

Video transcript below:

Caitlin Nobes:  The rate of retirement for corporate candidates is ever increasing leaving companies seeking the next generation of leaders to fill critical roles.  Understanding how to accelerate leadership development in your organisation can stabilise and fortify its foundation for ongoing success.

Join Jocelyn Bérard, International Vice President, Leadership and Business Solutions, Global Knowledge and author of a new publication “Accelerating Leadership Development” as he discusses some practical solutions to this very real business dilemma.

Accelerating Leadership Development – Part 2/3, Global Knowledge

Caitlin Nobes:  So what would you say it takes to be an effective leader?

Jocelyn Bérard:  That’s a one million dollar question.  There is no one single profile of an effective leader, because you can imagine, organisations are so different.  But what we identify in our approach working with clients is that there is four key components of what we call a success profile, what it takes to be a successful leader.  

The competencies, you know so how do you behave, something like communication or leadership as a competency.  So we can say about competencies is, this is what you can do.  

It takes knowledge, you have to know your market, you have probably to know the technology, the rules and regulations, know your competitor.  So what is it that you know is critical.  

You need experience obviously to be effective and we don’t define experience as 10 years of experience.  We define experience as the type of situation you have been exposed to.  So have you have led projects that have international components to it?  Have you worked with cross functional team or have you  have been involved with launching a new product or a crisis management would be a type of high added value from a learning standpoint that also predicts performance.  

Personality Traits
And finally we look at personality traits.  So we really say, personality traits are sort of the DNA of our behaviours.  So you can be highly extroverted with a desire to win so that drives some specific behaviours.  

So really what you can do, what you know, what you have done – your experience and also who you are – is your personality.  So four categories that really define well what it takes to be an effective leader, then we can adjust according to the environment and the organisation.

Caitlin Nobes:  You mentioned earlier that we need to have a focused approach when it comes to accelerating leadership development.  What will you recommend leaders and HR managers to focus on?

Jocelyn Bérard:  It’s a good question and again it’s a bit challenging to answer that one because it would vary.  You can imagine a high technology start up company will require probably competencies different than a more blue collar traditional environment.  But having said that, we noticed that one, that a few competencies that are critical today.

I don’t think any leaders can be effective without good communication.  It’s such an important one, so and it’s been consistent for years in research that communication is critical.  

Coaching others
Coaching others, nowadays leaders, you cannot lead just by telling people, even if it’s your own direct report.  People don’t like that, that’s not how they would like to work and this is not how you get the best out of them as well.  So coaching, you can imagine of a conductor or a director of a band or even a coach in sports, they are there to help their team to win.  They don’t play the song or they don’t play the game.  So leader as a coach is helping them to be successful.  

Influential leadership
Another one that is very interesting that we see coming up more and more is influential leadership, the capacity to influence others, because it doesn’t mean you will work only with people reporting to you.  

Motivating others
And so influential leadership, you can imagine how can a leader be successful without motivating others.  You need to know how to motivate others.  Some are a good example of critical competencies.

Caitlin Nobes:  You said that influential leadership is a more modern competency.  Why is that?

Jocelyn Bérard:  Somebody asked me recently, what makes some competencies more predominant, more important today versus years ago and that would be a very good example and it’s linked to a few reasons.  But one of them is, think of how we do our work in our organisation today.  The traditional [ORG] chart, the traditional team and only working in your department, that’s long gone. So you work with people outside a corporation, contractors, you outsource a part of your business, you insource another one, you work with people in other countries.  So you have to influence a lot of people that are not necessarily under your authority and you have to influence people that are literally outside the organisation many times.  And so because of the way we do work, because of the design of our organisation in our days, that’s one competency we see coming up more and more and actually it’s interesting we talk about that because it’s not just for leaders.  Lot of professional employees will have to influence others in order to achieve their results, their objectives, even if they are not a leader.  So that’s a critical one as well for them.

Caitlin Nobes:  Want to discover more practical and effective ways to accelerate leadership development, join Jocelyn Bérard for their “Getting There Faster”  Webinar.  See details below this video.