Today’s leaders are facing challenges that are virtually unprecedented. Increased competition, the accelerated pace of change, the impact of the GFC, the expectation of meaningful work and low levels of employee engagement ( only 13% employees engaged according to Gallup, 2013) are requiring leaders to move beyond a transactional relationship with their organisations and people. Increasingly leaders are required to inspire and engage followers with their vision and integrity and espouse values that resonate across the organisation. Increasingly leaders are expected to engage the vales and emotions of their followers and this had led to the rise to positive leadership theories such as authentic, transformational and engaging leadership. Research has clearly demonstrated the business benefits for those who engage in this transformational style of leadership. Increasingly, strength-based coaching is being recognised as the most effective method of developing the transformational leadership qualities that enhance organisational performance. We believe in a positive approach to leadership development. Consequently, we are more concerned with identifying and leveraging an individual’s unique signature strengths and how they can best be leveraged within an organisation than we are with the development of weaknesses. Leadership development at CSA can either be an individual process of coaching leaders around acquiring particular perspectives and skill sets or delivered through one of our group leadership development programs.
The CSA Approach to Leadership Development
1. Positive & Pragmatic
Our ground-breaking research suggests the balanced application of a strengths-based approach to leadership development is superior to the traditional deficit focus (MacKie, 2014). We draw on positive organisational behaviour and the concept of strengths development to ensure our clients achieve the maximum return on their investment. Our primary objective is the delivery of performance improvement to our client organisations through enhanced individual and team performance. Results achieved through our coaching programs are measured against the performance requirements of the organisation. Our approach is client-centered, commercially orientated and focused on achieving tangible results in the context of ethical, sustainable and compassionate leadership practices.
2. Context Sensitive
We consider the impact of our services on the organisation as a whole and recognise that any intervention needs to be linked to the strategy and overall goals of the organisation. Our assessment process places in individual firmly within their organisational and career context. Integrating our interventions into existing leadership development activities and aligning our programs with the values and strategy of the business is paramount. We look beyond traits to consider how leadership strengths are either enhanced or suppressed by the situational context.
3. Client Centered
Leadership coaching at CSA can either be an individual process of coaching leaders around acquiring particular insights and skill sets or delivered through one of our group leadership development programs. Such programs are generally run over two to three days and involve a combination of individual and group activities, psychometric assessment, coaching and development planning. Whether coaching individuals or teams, we integrate a rigourous assessment process and cutting edge psychometrics into our leadership development framework.
4. Skill Focused
Whether enhancing transformational leadership skills, increasing insight and self-awareness or helping leaders to learn how to enhance their capacity to understand and manage emotions rather than react to them, our approach is based on the assumption that such skills can be effectively acquired and maintained over time through the mediums of action learning and executive coaching.
5. Research Based
As psychologists, we are trained to question and assess the validity of our approach and to select skill development and behaviour change strategies that have been proven through research to be effective. We pride ourselves in the appropriate and pragmatic application of contemporary research. We are active researchers in the field of positive leadership and strength-based executive coaching and have produced compelling evidence as to the effectiveness of these approaches ( MacKie, 2015).
6. Theory Driven
We guide the leaders we coach through a process for enhancing leadership effectiveness that is informed by current leadership theory. Our approach to leadership development is informed by numerous theories including positive leadership, strengths development, engaging leadership, mindfulness, distributed leadership, adult development theory, good to great research, leadership derailment, emotional intelligence, situational leadership, authentic leadership and Bass and Avolio’s Full Range Leadership Model.