Tag Archives: Bruce Avolio

Training or Mentorship to Build Leadership Skills?

Peter Harms

Leadership development services are at least a $134 billion annual expenditure in the US, leading many to consider the estimated and actual Return on Investment (ROI).

Paul Lester

Paul Lester

A six-month study of U.S. Military Academy cadets at West Point provided some clues.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Peter Harms collaborated with Paul Lester of the U.S. Army Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Directory, U.S. Military Academy’ Sean Hanna, Gretchen Vogelgesang of Federal Management Partners, and University of Washington’s Bruce Avolio to evaluate:

Sean Hanna

– Sean Hanna

  • -Candidates’s readiness to receive candid feedback from a variety of sources,
  • Mentoring from an engaged, supportive leadership coach,

-Realistic advancement opportunities in the organization.

Bruce Avolio

Participants were randomly assigned to an individual mentorship program or classroom-based group leadership training.
Those who participated in the semi-formal mentorships were significantly more likely to report increased confidence in assuming a leadership role than those in the classroom training.

Mentoring group’s effectiveness was significantly related to a coaches’ ability to:

  • Establish a trust-based collaborative relationship,
  • Provide support,
  • Offer candid, observational feedback,
  • Become sponsors and advocates when the cadets assert leadership.

Additionally, participants who experienced greatest gains in leadership skills and confidence were:

  • Open to receiving candid feedback from mentors,
  • Willing to receive challenging and negative feedback.

The least expensive approach to leadership development did not produce the greatest results, suggesting the importance of individualized attention. 

Ted Kaptchuk

Ted Kaptchuk

This effect was demonstrated when attention from authorities became a placebo effect for 250 patients with documented symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Those who received the most individualized attention in three no-treatment conditions reported the greatest symptom relief even though they received no medical intervention and participants were informed that the “treatment” was a placebo , found Harvard’s Ted Kaptchuk.

The most important “active ingredient” in leadership development training may be personalized attention, followed by candidates’s readiness to receive candid feedback and to implement recommendations.

 -*How has personalized mentoring helped you develop leadership competencies?

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Leader Self-Efficacy Beliefs Determine Impact of Challenging Work Assignments

Stephen Courtright

Stephen Courtright

“High potential” employees are often given “stretch assignments” to expand their organizational knowledge, skills, and contacts.

Amy Colbert

Amy Colbert

The individual’s “leadership self-efficacy (LSE)” expectations about personal capability to master the challenge and deliver “successful” outcomes determine the actual results, reported Texas A&M’s Stephen H. Courtright, Amy E. Colbert of University of Iowa, and Daejeong Choi of University of Melbourne in their four month study of more than 150 managers and 600 directors at a Fortune 500 financial services company.

Daejeong Choi

Daejeong Choi

Individuals develop self efficacy, according to Stanford’s Albert Bandura, in response to individuals’:

  • Personal accomplishments and mastery
  • Observing others’ behaviors, experiences, and outcomes
  •  Corrective feedback from others via coaching and mentoring
  • Mood and physiological factors
Albert Bandura

Albert Bandura

Bandura posited that people’s expectations about their personal efficacy determines whether they:

  • Use coping behavior when encountering difficulties
  • Apply exceptional effort in meeting challenges
  • Persist for long periods when encountering difficult experiences and obstacles

These behaviors lead to the “virtuous cycle” of increased self-efficacy beliefs and expectations.

Laura Paglis Dwyer

Laura Paglis Dwyer

A measure of leadership self-efficacy (LSE), developed by University of Evansville’s Laura L. Paglis Dwyer and Stephen G. Green of Purdue University, evaluates a leader’s skill in:

  • Direction-setting
  • Gaining followers’ commitment
  • Overcoming obstacles to change
Sean Hanna

Sean Hanna

Two additional Leader Self Efficacy characteristics were proposed by United States Military Academy’s Sean T. Hannah with Bruce Avolio, Fred Luthans, and Peter D. Harms of University of Nebraska:

  • “Agency,” characterized by intentionally initiating action and exerting positive influence
  • Confidence
Jesus Tanguma

Jesus Tanguma

Women generally demonstrated significantly lower leadership self-efficacy beliefs than men in research by University of Houston’s Michael J. McCormick
, Jesús Tanguma
, and Anita Sohn López-Forment, and a related post reviews women’s lag in expressions of “confidence,” with consequences for women’s representation in executive leadership roles.

However, Bandura found that these beliefs can be modified with intentional interventions like training, coaching, mentoring and cognitive restructuring practice, and the proliferation of these offerings for women provides these opportunities to enhance confidence and positive expectancy.

Courtright’s team reinforced popular understanding that beliefs both result from previous experiences, and can determine future outcomes, suggesting the importance of monitoring and managing these guiding ideas.

-*How do you maintain robust Leadership Self-Efficacy expectations even after disappointments and setbacks?

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