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Question Everything

I just read some research data and then had it taken away with a subjective opinion later in the article. I thought at that point, if what they are saying is true then it’s time that I be fired along with all others who are invested in this vocation of helping people reinvent themselves! First, the research data. The study was conducted in 2010 by Green Peak Partners and Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. It examined 72 executives at public and private companies with revenues from $50 million to $5 billion. The research examined a number of executive interpersonal traits, but the finding that most resonated was this one: “Leadership searches give short shrift to ‘self-awareness,’ which should actually be a top criterion. Interestingly, a high self-awareness score was the strongest predictor of overall success.” Exciting to hear something I believe in so strongly validated once again. Soft skills by leaders are the ones that really make the difference in achieving high performance. But then they added this balloon buster! “Companies and their investors need to put more effort into evaluating the interpersonal strengths of potential leaders. They should focus more on how a leadership candidate does the work, and not focus exclusively on what he or she has done. However, there are limits to the degree to which an individual can improve his or her basic ability to interact well with others. This means that focusing on interpersonal skills when selecting the right candidate becomes critical.” Done. Toast. Throw in the towel time as a leadership consultant and executive coach! To me though, I question their motivation for this statement being thrown in. Why would they do that? It must be a hidden agenda as that is the only reason I can think of because I know people who have made significant changes in who they are as people and as leaders. Don’t you? Great data ruined by a subjective opinion with an ulterior motive! Question everything, right?

Onward & Upward!

Ed Chaffin

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