How to evaluate leadership skills

Cavicchioli, Andrea (2013) How to evaluate leadership skills. In: ENDA Congress 2013, 30/10-2/11/2013, Zurich. (In Press)

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We are used to observe that frequently some new (or apparently new) approach arise about the right manner to approach the leadership as competence. From the first part of the previous century to today we observe many “seasons” of the leadership discipline, and a lot of prominent speaker and researcher that discuss of it and theorize the “best way” to reach a sort of “heaven of the leader”. There is a huge amount of documents, tools, guidelines, systematic review, position statements and so on, that treat the question of leadership in general and also in the health field. It is quite difficult in a so full-of-indications field to “trace the way” and to “measure” something that could be useful to judge my personal behavior as leader. Moreover it is quite hard to feel that a tools or something of similar is a good instrument to “measure” some colleagues’ about a sort of gold standard of leadership. This especially if we think to what we are really trying to do with this instrument that is “to measure a person”. Probably one of the big mistakes that many of us do when we are facing with the necessity to “measure” the leadership profile of someone is that we think to this in terms of “having” some characteristics or “doing” some tasks in a good/worst manner. But if we call ourselves, as person, in terms of “human beings”, it could be true that still when we think to our leadership profile we need to observe our “being”. So, first of all, it is useful to have an idea of what theoretically means to think to the leadership in terms of “being” and not only in terms of “having” or “doing”. According to the theory of being-centered leadership (Fry and Kriger, 2009), we could approach every leadership profile adopting a five level progressively more complete level of being: - level V (the Sensible/Physical World) - level IV (Images & Imagination) - level III (The Soul) - level II (Spirit) - level I (non-dual) Every one of us, during his/her life has the potential availability of every level of being. Every level provides meaning to our leadership practice. The effective adoption of this level partly depends from our respective human conditions (i.e. culture, value, study, etc…) and partly depends from the tasks and duty we have in a specific moment and/or organizations. We than compare some of the principle tools adopted today to measure the leadership characteristics with this theory and we try to evaluate if they “fit” with this theory. Finally with a brief retrospective analysis of a “natural history” of a real leader we try to find some “sign” that could confirm this theory.

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