Kevin Cashman provides a leadership development frame that complements Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence concepts and Jim Collins’s delineation of Level 5 Leadership, in his book Leadership from the Inside Out.
If individuals wish to develop leadership skills, they must apply “learning agility” to acquire new perspectives and skills, then deploy them under new business circumstances.
Cashman reviewed the four elements of “learning agility”:
• Mental agility, characterized by questioning solutions, consulting others, demonstrating openness
• Interpersonal agility, based on effective, precise listening, using questions to elicit clarification
• Results agility, or developing new approaches to achieve results, incorporate new ways to resolve problems
• Change agility, which includes flexibility and adaptability
Cashman found three steps in leadership development, common across many approaches, and recommended these elements in any leadership development program:
• Building Awareness – Self-discovery of strengths, development areas
• Building Commitment – Developing emotional engagement to act on developmental needs and to apply strengths
• Building Practice – Undertaking new actions such as journaling to build awareness, commitment and reflection on learnings.
The goal of these steps is to develop three aspects of leadership:
• Authenticity, characterized by integrity, alignment between words and actions that is recognized by others; continued striving toward authenticity in future potential
• Influence, involving the self-expression and application of personal strengths to create value
• Value creation in work and community
Leadership from the Inside Out outlines seven related pathways to leadership mastery, with related practices.
Many of these recommendations may sound spiritual, philosophical, non-specific, and difficult to translate into specific actions.
One element of self-reflection in Cashman’s process may be to operationalize these recommendations into concrete, measurable actions:
• Personal Mastery, based on developing self-awareness
• Purpose Mastery involves applying talents to serve values and add value through authentic self-expression in leading others
• Change Mastery, incorporates acceptance of uncertainty and impermanence to learn from these changes and demonstrate agility in adapting to new circumstances
• Interpersonal Mastery relates to human connection, the second element of Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence. Collaboration is a foundation to create contribution and long-term value
• Being Mastery represents a spiritual dimension, however the individual defines it, to connect one’s depth of character to support effectiveness and contribution
• Balance Mastery refers to building, maintaining energy to foster resilience, effectiveness, fulfillment. It moves beyond time management, a practice to manage a limited resource, to generate and regenerate energy to lead
The Considered “Pursuit of Less”
Whom Do You Serve as a (Level 5, Level 6) Leader?
“Contemplative Neuroscience”: Transform your Mind, Change your Brain
Developing “Big 8” Job Competencies