The Leadership Development Framework
"Leaders are made, not born, and how they develop is critical for organisational change."
Rooke & Torbert, Harvard Business Review, 2005
Most developmental psychologists now agree what differentiates leaders is not so much their philosophy of leadership, their personality or their style of management. Rather it’s their internal worldview or ‘Action Logic’, how they construct reality and respond to emerging situations. Particularly when their power or safety is challenged.
Each leader is informed by a dominant Action Logic which has shaped with time, experience and learning. A leader’s Action Logic both enables and constrains effectiveness as it interacts with the demands made on him professionally. Most leaders, however, are not conscious of their Action Logic and are ‘blind’ to it. They are unaware they can transform beyond the limits of their current way of thinking and being.
Becoming aware of their Action Logic provides leaders with a crucial insight into what constrains their effectiveness and importantly, how they can develop beyond these constraints.
For teams and whole organisations Action Logics have a dramatic impact. According to the make-up of a team or leadership group it can be characterised as having a dominant and influential Action Logic. The challenge for most organisations is to move beyond the ‘Achiever’ frame to incorporate ‘Strategist’ thinking and behaviour (see the table of Action Logics and read the Harvard Business Review article ‘Seven Transformations of Leadership’ to understand more about ‘Achievers’ and ‘Strategists’).
Through extensive research, we have found that leaders who undertake this voyage of personal understanding and development can transform not only their own capabilities but importantly also those of their organisations. Corporations that help their executives and leadership teams examine their Action Logics reap rich rewards.