3 A’s Of Leadership

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In “Leadocracy”, Geoff Smart* shares with us his commitment to get more highly qualified leaders to take on leadership positions in government. He focuses on recent accomplishments by governors, like Mitch Daniels, John Hickenlooper, Jack Markell and Mark Emkes, who had private sector experience and are significantly increasing the economic health of their states.

(His message is one Vistage members should consider; after polishing their leadership skills, CEOs should consider an encore career making a difference in – and fixing – government.)

He offers a strategic framework, The 3 As of Leadership, that people should use when hiring people in order to judge the qualifications of candidates – regardless of what sector you’re in. The goal is to look for people who can demonstrate excellence in three key strategic skills:

  • Analyzing – Figuring out what outcomes are desired and how to achieve them.
  • Allocating – Establishing a plan to concentrate scare resources, like money, time and people, toward their highest and best uses, and way from areas of waste.
  • Aligning – Influencing people to behave in a coordinated way, according to the plan. To achieve the desired outcomes.

While resumes and job interviews focus on results accomplished, the reality is that usually other people were also involved in producing the results. Therefore, recruiters need to identify the behaviors the candidate used when performing these skills, and how they transferred their knowledge and wisdom to others.

Start using this behavioral lens today as you hire new people. How did the candidate you’re interviewing use these skills? Are the replicable in your situation? What resistances will he/she experience and can the candidate overcome them? Also, can other leaders in your company improve how they use their skills?  Mr. Smart’s team intends to publish a book (tentatively titled “The Ideal Leader” focused on the use of these skills by thousands of leaders they’ve assessed; you can probably compare your experiences with theirs when it is released.

* His prior book is “Who: The A Method for Hiring”.

** His idea resonates for me, as I worked early in my career on Capitol Hill, and left to gain more leadership experience improving private and non-profit systems to provide greater value, with the idea of possibly returning in the future. affordable search engine optimization

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