What I Learned About Leadership Through a 360 Review

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Written By: Doug Watson, Director, Member Services

I did a 360 review in 2013 at GILD (The Global Institute for Leadership Development). The model used to assess was developed by Warren Bennis. I must say it’s really informed how I think about the competencies, skills and responsibilities. I will do my best to relay four of them from GILD here (the rest to follow in the future).

Ability 1 – Focus: The ability to identify an important goal or vision and to channel efforts at specific targets that support that goal/vision. 

I like this one. It takes that vision “thing” just that step further. Too many rely on being an “ideas person” to get by. This reminds us that we have to do something with that idea, AND the idea is not enough. It has to be important and targetable.

Ability 2 – Drive: The ability to persevere, sacrifice (when necessary), and expend high degrees of energy to reach high levels of performance.

Drive can sometimes be seen as negative by the people around us. An individual who has a high activity score (see the Birkman Method) may appear to have more drive than others.

It would be unfair to label drive as simply a character trait. It has a purpose as a leadership component, to reach high levels of performance. Are you reaching that standard? Is your standard one of an excellent leader or an outstanding leader?

Ability 3 – Perception: The ability to read the emotions and thoughts of others through the use of insight and analytical skills.

Nope we are not talking about that intuition that gives us gut feelings. Perception is directly related to emotional intelligence (EI) and there is much more to EI than gut feelings.

Analytical skills would suggest we have some leadership to learn from our scientist friends. It may be easy to dismiss the ‘scientific type’ as so introverted that they haven’t the ability to read people. Honed over many years, analytical skills can take the guess work or gut feelings out of the equation. Don’t the people you lead deserve more than the spicy pizza you ate last night which continues to affect your mood? Yep, your mood has nothing to do with GREAT insight or perception into people and situations!

Ability 4 – Emotional Maturity: The ability to master emotions and cope with stress in a way that instills confidence, motivates, and enhances group effectiveness.

Here’s the one we all want to talk about. Who will be the first to stand up and claim ‘I am emotionally mature’ . . . no thanks! This takes a lifetime but look at the definition above. Very actionable. Think in terms of sincerity and in terms of resiliency. These are the traits that instill confidence. Renewed determination and open communication invites others to join the task, to keep pressing on in the face of adversity. The leader that lets emotions sway their resolve for the future day to day is not doing anyone a service and makes it difficult for others to know what they should think.

Having said that, when we examine the personality components of the Birkman Method we know that the involvement of feelings comes more naturally to some than others. We know that some want to use feelings in their decision making.

Reminder . . . as leaders we must ever be thinking of others.

This year, through the generosity of a donor, we are sending two more members of our team, Janet Rock and Lori DeLuca, to GILD. For leadership development we find it unmatched and therefore invaluable to Propellus and our members.


If you would like to know more about the Birkman Method Doug is a Certified Birkman Consultant and would be happy to meet with you to talk more about it and anything else you team is thinking about.

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