Monday, July 1, 2013

The Leadership Challenge Workshop

Last week I attended four days of training to become a Level I Trained Facilitator for the Leadership Challenge Workshop based on the work of James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner.  I had the pleasure of being instructed by Dick Heller of Full Extension Leadership, a Level III Certified Master.  I am looking forward to obtaining my Level II Certified Facilitator training later this summer.

As part of the training we took a 360 assessment, the Leadership Practice Inventory.  I am generally suspicious of 360 assessments because the person chooses to whom he or she sends the ratings request. If a person is not serious about the assessment, they will pick people who will rank them "high" and explain away any rankings that don't fit with their story of themselves.  I personally sent ratings request to people I work with in a volunteer capacity, people I work with directly at work, and my "customers" at work.  The LPI does not rank how well you do something, it ranks how "frequently" you do something (on a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being highest).  My scores were about half that of my other raters, but I noticed they had the same pattern so my assumption of our definition of "usually" probably differs.  What was far more interesting (and worth putting myself out there) was the individual responses from my raters.  I received rather low scores from different raters for two areas in which I actually ranked myself higher - Sets a personal example of what she expects of others and Is clear about her philosophy of leadership.  What I learned between these scores is that people see what I show them.  As a frequent blogger on leadership, I kind of laughed that people thought I only occasionally was clear about my philosophy - either they don't read my blog or they don't think I am consistent in my philosophy.  I'm guessing they don't read my blog...probably because I haven't specifically invited them to.  Probably because I'm always trying to make sure that I don't ram my ideas and side business down my friends and co-workers throats.  So I am going to try to make more of an effort to share my blog and to share my ideas with those who might be interested.  As for that person who rarely sees me set a personal example of what I expect from others.  (And no, I did not try to figure out who it was - it really doesn't matter.)  I need to make sure that I show everyone I work with that I am an example.  There are lots more questions to analyze and think about and then I look forward to retaking the assessment in a year.  I want to make sure that I work to improve the things that are important to me (because a leadership writer should be very clear to all about her leadership philosophy) and I am excited at the opportunity this 360 instrument presents.

What are your experiences with LPI or other 360 assessments?  What do you think are the keys for honest feedback?  Do they really provide you with something you can't get by asking for feedback?

More about the Leadership Challenge Workshop itself later.

On a side note, I am participating in a 31-day blogging challenge through conversion2sales.com.  Wish me luck!