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Home / Services / Transforming Leaders / Application Workshops

Transforming Leaders

We develop leaders ability to implement the Legitimate Leadership framework and principles by providing them with the tools and skills they require to do so.

Legitimate Leadership Application Workshops – Implementing the Legitimate Leadership Model

For First Line Managers and Middle/ Senior Managers (Standard and Advanced)

The Legitimate Leadership Application Workshops are a series of half or full day workshops deployed over a period of time on a drip feed basis in an organisation.

Each Module provides a deeper understanding of a particular aspect of the Legitimate Leadership model and provides leaders with the tools and skills they require in terms of their day-to-day leadership practices.

However they don’t address the question most often posed at the end of the initial one or two day workshops, which is: “What do I DO to implement Legitimate Leadership?”

The Legitimate Leadership criteria actually translate into key leadership tasks for those at different points in the leadership hierarchy.

At the First Line Manager level, the primary Legitimate Leadership tasks are those of knowing and demonstrating concern for individual team members, enabling those who contribute directly to the results to do so, establishing standards of excellence and holding subordinates accountable against them.

In addition to the above, Managers of Managers need to revise their time and attention away from producing outcomes to building others’ capacity to achieve outcomes.

They also need to develop the ability to coach the first line managers who report to them, learn how to deal appropriately with exceptions in their areas, and acquire the skills to turn victims into masters.

Over and above the coaching, diagnosing and counselling tasks required by middle managers, Senior Managers need to establish and teach the benevolent intent of the enterprise to everyone within it and inculcate the Legitimate Leadership values. They need to create enabling structures, align everyone in the organisation to a set of measures which gives them feedback on their contribution, and provide a clear line of sight between individual contribution and results. They also need to institute development discussions which both motivate and empower.

The Application Workshops for each level of management are:

First Line Manager Application Workshops

1 The True Meaning Of Care

Across the world, people say that they will only work willingly for a boss who genuinely cares about them. Both managers and subordinates, however, often either don’t understand what Care means and/or have chosen, in pursuit of their own interests, not to.

In this module, a number of myths regarding Care are debunked. First-line managers draw up a list of Care indicators which they can use to gauge how well they are doing on this critical element of leadership. They are provided with practical tools for getting to know their people as human beings rather than as human resources, for demonstrating concern for personal problems and for listening.

2 Spending Time Appropriately

The most obvious indicator of what a person cares about is what they spend their time on and what they give attention to. This is because one has time for the things that one cares about. Leaders who care about their people, therefore, give them their time and attention. As a leader’s intent changes from being here to “get” to being here to “give”, so too does their attention shift from task/result to their people.

In this module, First Line Managers are given a number of diagnostic tools for analysing how their time is currently being spent. They draw conclusions from their analyses and commit to practical actions which will enable them to spend more of their time on the care and growth of their people. First line managers then draw up a Leadership Diary to ensure that they deliberately spend time with each of their people, giving them what they need to enable their contribution. They leave the programme equipped to implement their Leadership Diary.

3 Setting and Enforcing Standards

There are five key responsibilities for any first line manager with respect to standards:

  • To know and understand the standards in their area.
  • To set the example/demonstrate the standards.
  • To communicate the standards, both the “what” and the “why”.
  • To ensure adherence to standards.
  • To recommend changes to standards.

In this module, First Line Managers understand the reason for standards – as preventative controls, as a baseline for improvement, and as a motivator of human excellence. They critique existing standards against the criteria for a good standard and determine how to both enforce existing standards and improve standards in their area.

4 Watching the Game

Legitimate Leadership is, by definition, a face-to-face activity. It therefore happens in one of three contexts: in one-on-one discussions, in team meetings, and when the leader goes out to “watch the game”. Watching the game is a particularly critical activity because, like any good coach, a leader can only know what those performing the job need to enable or enhance their performance when the leader sees the job being performed in real time.

In this module, First Line Managers develop an understanding of the difference between “watching the game” and auditing. They learn the rules of “watching the game” and develop the skills of observation, listening and feedback. They draw up a checklist of what to look for when “watching the game”.

5 Dealing with Timekeeping and Absenteeism

One of the most prevalent behavioural problems which front line managers need to address is that of poor timekeeping and/or unacceptable absenteeism. Leaders who care about their people evidence both generosity and courage in dealing with timekeeping and absenteeism in their teams.

In this module, First Line Managers forge the link between dealing with time and attendance and care. They apply the company’s policies and procedures to a number of scenarios or real examples to confirm the appropriate leadership action in each case. They are challenged to identify and address the Means, Ability and Accountability issues which constrain them from dealing appropriately with the time and attendance issues in their area.

6 Dealing with Performance Issues

People’s actions or contribution are determined by a combination of environmental conditions, the skills and knowledge at their disposal, and their will or lack of it at the time. Dealing appropriately with performance issues means dealing with their root cause – the Means, Ability and Accountability issues which are the real reasons for the performance issues. When this is not the case, the same performance issues recur.

In this module, First Line Managers are taught how to diagnose performance issues and then apply the remedial action appropriate to the cause. They test the validity of Legitimate Leadership’s experience that performance issues are 70% Means issues, 20% Ability issues and 10% Accountability issues. They learn to avoid both the “hard” and the “soft” mistake when dealing with performance issues.

7 Empowerment

Leaders are powerful only when their people trust them, are willing to do what is asked of them, and are loyal to them. One of the ways that leaders can earn power is to trust or empower their people. This means to incrementally suspend control over them. As long as leaders continue to control their people they rob them of the opportunity to demonstrate their trustworthiness.

In this module, first line managers are taught “how” to empower their people using the 3 Golden Rules and the 5 Steps to Empowerment. They determine the reasons why previous empowerment efforts failed and leave the programme with concrete plans to hand over at least one key accountability to subordinates.

8 Coaching

Coaching is integral to the process of caring and growing people. It is the practical means of enabling people’s ability. For First Line Managers coaching is a combination of on-the-job training and enabling subordinates to think through and solve their problems.

In this module, First Line Managers draw up a list of criteria for successful coaching and assess themselves against these. They learn how to give effective on-the-job instruction on how to help their people to think about their problems and what they can do about them rather than giving the solution to their problems. They are introduced to an effective process for helping people to gain new insights and perspectives on their problems.

9 Recognising Adequate Performance

When employees perform to the required standard, it is appropriate to recognise or praise them for doing so. The leader’s reason for doing so is not to motivate the employee (to get the same or more out of them tomorrow) but to express genuine appreciation for the contribution made.

In this module, First Line managers are given the skills to recognise adequate performance through guided practice and feedback on this key interaction.

10 Confronting Unacceptable Behaviour/Poor Performance – New

When the standard has not been met it is necessary to ascertain “why” this is the case so that the correct action can be taken. When the unacceptable behaviour/poor performance is due to carelessness or deliberate malevolence than censure or discipline is appropriate.

In this module, First Line Managers develop the conversational skill to diagnose the reasons for the subordinate failing to meet the standard and determining what needs to be done to ensure that the standard is met in the future. They learn the key interaction skill of confronting and dealing with employee malevolence.

11 Initiating Joint Problem-Solving with a Colleague – New

First Line Managers are often called upon to work effectively with people in other departments or service functions where the formal power relationship of leader and subordinate does not exist. They need to work with colleagues to find solutions to problems on the basis of recognising and acting upon common interest as opposed to personal interest.

In this module, First Line Managers learn to suspend their own agenda, to encourage others’ participation in and taking of personal responsibility for resolving problems. They develop the interaction skill of obtaining commitment from others to work towards a common goal.

12 Raising a Problem with More Senior Management – New

First Line Managers are often required to raise problems with leaders in more senior positions – something that often induces anxiety and requires courage on their behalf to do so. They need to raise the problem honestly and non-defensively in order to find a resolution to it.

In this module, First Line Managers learn to raise a problem with a senior person and facilitate that person’s commitment to an agreed course of action.

13 Matching Leadership Action to Employee Contribution

At any point in time a leader can give one of seven possibilities – care, means, ability, censure, discipline, praise and reward. Which of the seven possibilities differs from subordinate at any point in time.

In this Module, First Line Managers are introduced to a simple tool for, in the first instance, determines the employee’s contribution and then matching leadership action to this in the Employee contribution – Leadership Action Matrix.

14 Courage in the 7 Possibilities of Leadership

Courage is a critical part of being a good leader. It is one of two forms of giving (generosity and courage) and it is clearly the more difficult of the two. Courage in leadership is often seen to be about having the “difficult conversation” or disciplining people and yet courage for a leader is so much more than that.

In this Module First Line Managers develop an understanding of courage as it applies to leading others at work. They gain insight on how to cultivate courage in themselves and others. They plan for a courageous act that they will back to work.

Middle & Senior Manager Application Workshops

1 Care and the Issue of Time and Attention

Leaders who care for their people are genuinely interested in them and concerned about them as human beings, not as human resources. When leaders care, this is visible and demonstrable from where they spend their time and what they give their attention to. Leaders who care for their people shift their focus and their attention from results and outcomes to people and processes.

In this module, leaders deepen their understanding of what care really means and assess themselves against this core criterion for legitimate power. They determine the changes, sometimes radical, they need to make to how they are spending their time and what they are giving attention to. They progress to setting up their own Leadership Diaries based on an understanding of the Seven Possibilities that leaders have in terms of what they can give any of their subordinates at any point in time.

2 Clarifying Contribution

Clarity of contribution is a critical enabler of contribution. Clarity of contribution is, moreover, a precondition for holding people accountable for their contribution. This is because it is not possible to fairly assess and reward people for their contribution if their contribution has not been clarified and agreed upon in the first place.

In this module, leaders clarify their contribution in the context of the results to be achieved. Contribution is firstly clarified at the level of the role. Thereafter the contribution of each individual in the next reporting period to the results, to the care and growth of others, and to their own transformation is determined.

3 Assessing, Reviewing and Rewarding Contribution

Most review discussions between managers and subordinates are sterile affairs because they consist of a report back on what has been achieved in the last reporting period. They serve the needs of the manager to be kept informed rather than the needs of the employee to grow. A successful review in fact is one which enables the employee’s contribution, growth and accountability going forward. This only happens if the review is preceded by a determination of the Means, Ability and Accountability requirements of the employee by “watching the game”.

In this module, leaders are equipped to enable their employees’ contribution through effectively assessing, reviewing and rewarding the contribution made. They are given the tools to “watch the game”, to give feedback on what employees are doing right and what they need to change and to determine and agree the actions which will enable an enhanced contribution by employees in the next reporting cycle.

4 The “Growth” element of legitimate leadership implies a willingness to entrust responsibility to others. Two things then happen simultaneously. Trust in management increases and people are in a position to demonstrate their trustworthiness. Entrustment of responsibility or empowerment, however, is simple in concept but devilishly difficult in practice. For this reason there are far more failed empowerment efforts than successes.

This module tackles head-on the impediments to empowerment – both the lack of knowing how to empower effectively and a lack of the will to do so. The module uses leaders’ experiences to derive some rules and steps for applying the 3rd Axiom of the Legitimate Leadership Model – “the incremental suspension of control in order to empower the subordinate.” The output of the module is clarity on what shifts in accountability are needed to start or continue the empowerment process, and concrete action plans to effect those shifts.

5 Growth by Reducing Control

While management may have become increasingly efficient, there is definitely more, not less, of it. People in organisations, it seems, are increasingly managed and not led. Despite some efforts to reduce bureaucracy in the interests of saving costs, most employees have not gained more control over their lives. A critical task in the process of empowering people in organisations, therefore, is the ongoing review and revision of an organisation’s horizontal business processes in order to free up people to better serve both internal and external customers.

In this module, leaders identify and prioritise the “Snakes” in their organisation – that is, the processes with excessive or inappropriate controls. They learn and then apply the “Snake-killing” methodology to these processes. Finally, they determine how to ensure that the review and revision of business processes is continuous and never ends.

6 Dealing with Victims

It is not easy for employees to contribute in an environment which is disenabling, when the organisation’s structures are dysfunctional and its processes are suffocating. What really disempowers people in an organisation, however, is not their surroundings but themselves; their sense that they are victims of their environment and therefore not accountable for their contribution. Part of a leader’s job therefore is to confront and address victim behaviour whenever and wherever it occurs, nurturing powerful people irrespective of the setting they are in.

In this module, leaders are provided with a simple but powerful tool for engaging the will of their people to contribute – the “Gripe to Goal” process. Leaders’ skill in the use of the Gripe to Goal process enables them to cultivate employees who both take accountability and are accountable for the situations in which they are in.

7 Coaching for Excellence in Ability – Updated

The Legitimate Leadership model argues that the crux of the difference between management and leadership is an inversion of means and ends. Managers use people as the means to get the job done and produce results; leaders use tasks and results as the means to enable people. Excellence in a person is not of issue to managers. What concerns them is that the required output, in terms of both quantity and quality, is delivered. Leaders, unlike managers, are relentless in the pursuit of excellence in their people, not as a means to an end but as an end in itself.

In this module, leaders are given the tools to develop a coaching as opposed to reporting relationship with their subordinates. They learn how to practically use the task/job as the means to grow people; they develop the knowledge and skill to enable their people from an ability point of view.

8 Aligning Leadership with Employee Contribution – New

Anyone in a middle or senior management role is in effect a manager of managers whose core job is not to produce results, but to enable the contribution of those who directly impact on the results to be achieved. In other words, core to the role of middle and senior managers is the critical task of care and growth managers in their care and growth role.

In this module leaders are given the tools and skills to go beyond asking the managers who report to them “so how are you doing in terms of caring and growing your people?” to ensuring that the managers who report to them make the shifts in their leadership behaviour which will in turn effect positive change in the leadership behaviour of the leaders who report to them.

9 Dealing with Exceptions/ Holding Appropriately Accountable – Updated

Part of cultivating accountability in an organisation pertains to dealing appropriately with exceptions (both positive and negative) in the organisation. The typical management response to an exception is to apply a “fix” and then to institute a control. Dealing appropriately with exceptions, however, means getting behind the exception to understand the command issues which sit behind all exceptions. Sustainability of result is achieved not by fixing the exception directly but by addressing the leadership causes of the exception at every level in the line of command.

In this module, leaders learn how to diagnose performance exceptions in terms of who did what to contribute to the exception, and the Means, Ability and Accountability issues behind people’s actions. They develop expertise in the leadership diagnostic methodology and determine how best to use the methodology to bring about a sustainable improvement of results in their area.

10 Living the Legitimate Leadership Values – New

The Legitimate Leadership model argues that the core criterion for success as a leader is intent or motive; that leaders are judged not so much by what they do but “why” they do it. What this means is that in any command situation, a leader’s actions can be driven either by a leader’s needs or values. A leader who is values driven demonstrates this by acting for reasons greater than self-interest; by doing what is correct rather than expedient in any command situation.

In this module, leaders determine the leadership values which are operative in typical command situations and what acting in accordance with those values means practically. They assess the degree to which they are currently acting in accordance with the values and what they need to do to act consistently with the values in their day-to-day leadership practices.

Advanced Application Workshops

1 Legitimate Leadership Advanced Introduction

Many of those in positions of authority who are exposed to the Legitimate Leadership model don’t actually ‘get’ it. The model is seemingly simple and leaders therefore miss what it is arguing for – nothing less than a radical revision of conventional management beliefs and practices

In this module leaders revisit the Legitimate Leadership framework and develop a deeper understanding of it. The 9 Misconceptions which most commonly are held with respect to the model are used as the basis for taking leaders insight into this unique leadership perspective to an advanced level.

2 Building Collaborative Relationships

The higher up the hierarchy one goes the more important peers/ horizontal as opposed to line/vertical relationships become. A core or differentiating competency for leaders at middle and senior manager level in an organisation is therefore the building of collaborative relationships or team excellence.

In this module leaders develop a set of criteria for team, as opposed to leadership, excellence. They are provided with a number of simple but powerful tools for both diagnosing and remediating a team against the team excellence criteria. They are provided; give both the means and ability to cultivate positive and collaborative relationships with peers/ colleagues in their working environment.

3 Coaching the Why – Updated

There are two aspects of Ability – there is the “know-how” and there is the “know-why”. The “why” is by far the more important of the two. This is because the “why” has the potential to inspire, to motivate and to bring forth innovation. And yet far more leadership attention is focused on the “what” and the “how” rather than the “why”.

In this module the leader’s role in coaching the “why” is dealt with at various levels. Leaders first explore the “why” at the level of the enterprise – what Legitimate Leadership refers to as the benevolent intent of the enterprise or why the organisation exists. Coaching the “why” as a leadership theme is further developed in terms of the “why” behind the individual job/ task, change initiatives, standards and improvement tools and techniques. In each case the link between the purpose/the “why” and motivation is forged.

4 Development Discussions which Motivate and Empower – Updated

People’s capacity to give at work is not determined by the jobs they do, nor by which box they occupy in the organogram. What determines an individual’s propensity to contribute is a function of what motivates them at work and the degree to which what they do is aligned to their motivations. Leaders, however, are often not cognisant of what really motivates the people who report to them at work and, therefore, cannot be helpful to their people in terms of their development.

In this module, leaders examine their own motives and establish what is important to them at work. They explore the degree to which their current role and alternative options match up to their criteria. They deduce for themselves whether they need to change their work circumstances and/or their motives – the one thing that ultimately sits in their hands only. They are given a process and a template for subsequent development discussions with their people – discussions which are meaningful and empowering for both parties to the discussion.

5 Cultivating Courage in Self at Work – New

Legitimacy or acceptance as a leader is a function of the intent of the leader to “give” or to serve. Giving, however, takes two forms: generosity (rising above fear of loss of things associated with oneself), and courage (rising above the fear of loss of self). Of the two, courage is harder because the price that may have to be paid is higher. Enabling courage in others is at the core of legitimate leadership. Before a leader can cultivate generosity and courage in others, a leader must first cultivate these qualities in self.

In this module the challenging issue of cultivating courage in self, the most difficult aspect of legitimate leadership in practice, is explored. The key content of the module includes the meaning of courage, what makes courage at work difficult, what courage means specifically in the context of care and growth leadership, and how to cultivate courage in self at work.

6 Growing by Growing Others

Growth or maturation of a human being is the process of maturation of intent from being here to get to being here to give unconditionally. For leaders to change their intent to consistently act with generosity and courage, the intention to give needs to be built into the interactions which take place on an ongoing basis between themselves and those who report to them. When leaders give appropriately in their interactions with their people, the effect of this is transformative for the relationships they have with their people, for the organisation and ultimately for themselves.

In this module, leaders are given a methodology for determining and transforming their own intent in their relationships with each of their direct reports. Specifically, they define what they should be giving unconditionally to each of the people who report to them. They are in a position to act on their insights post the module.

7 Dealing with and Leading Change

The key distinction between first and second line managers is the nature of their role. First Line Managers are “improvers” while second line managers are “innovators”. The job of Second Line Managers in essence is to lead change – to transform their part of the organisation so that it is significantly better than before.

In this module, leaders are given the tools to lead change in their area. Specifically, they learn how to apply the change equation, namely: A (dissatisfaction with the status quo) + B (shared vision of a preferred future) + C (steps to get there) = or > than D (the cost of change) to bring about changes in their area. They learn both what is required to bring about change and how to do so.

8 Designing Enabling Structures

The way that work is organised and designed can either enable or disenable employee contribution. An important responsibility for the senior leadership of an organisation, therefore, is the provision of an enabling organisational structure – one which cultivates accountability and “headroom” for individual growth and development.

In this module, leaders are given an understanding of a set of organisational design principles aligned to the Care and Growth framework. They review the health of the current organisational structure against these principles. They then follow a seven-step process for designing an organisational structure/organising work in their organisation that promotes the practice of caring for and growing people.

9 Using the Scoreboard to Enable Contribution

“Actual” and “desired” scores or results serve to enhance employee contribution in two ways. Firstly, desired results provide the context within which the contribution necessary to deliver the desired result can be clarified. If people don’t know what they are trying to achieve, they may as well do anything. Secondly, actual results inform those making the contribution what they should be doing differently in future to realise a better result.

In this module, leaders develop an overall score or measure of success for their organisation which reflects the benevolent intent of the business or the company’s contribution to its customers. They determine a set of operational measures designed to enable those who put the scores on the scoreboard to enhance their contribution to them. Lastly, they establish a clear line of sight between the contribution of each individual in the organisation and the overall goal of the organisation.

10 Cultivating Courage in Others at Work

The Legitimate Leadership Model argues there are two ways in which a leader can give – with generosity and with courage.  Of these two courage is the more difficult and is a subject that is not often talked about as a critical attribute of leadership.  Success at exercising courage in leadership requires the leader to understand what his/her self-interest is in every given situation, and being able to rise above that and instead do what is right.  This involves rising above the fear of loss of self and involves risk.

In this module leaders examine their understanding of courage in the leadership role and work through barriers within the environment and within themselves that might inhibit courage.  The module reviews the seven possibilities of leadership (Care, Means, Ability, Praise, Reward, Censure & Discipline) and develops an understanding of the circumstances in which courage is required in the giving of these seven things).  Finally, participants work through situations in their own leadership reality, applying a framework to help them overcome self-interest, and act with the courage the situation requires.