003: The five dimensions of world-class leadership

In this episode, Andrea explains what are the five dimensions of great leadership based on his personal experience in helping executives and ambitious managers to raise their standards.

By listening to the show, you’ll learn:

1) What are the five dimensions and why do they matter
2) How to adapt and change your behaviors to score high across the five dimensions
3) How to measure your current leadership level so you know where you need to focus on to get better results.

To access the free assessment of the five dimensions, visit: www.andreapetrone.com/assessment.

If you have any comment or insight about this episode, email Andrea at:
[email protected]

For more information about Andrea’s work, go to:

To connect with Andrea on Social Media:

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreapetrone/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ie_andrea

(These are auto-generated transcripts. Forget the typos)

Hi everyone, and welcome to episode number three of the World Class Leaders Show. In this episode, we are going to discuss how we can develop our personal leadership. And it all starts with understanding what are the dimensions, they’re really making an impact on our personal performance. 

According to my experience in helping those and of individuals improving their performance and their leadership, I realized that there are really five only five dimensions that really matter. So, are you ready to find out? Well, let’s get started.

Welcome to the World Class Leaders Show. This is the one and only podcast for ambitious and high achievers, professionals who want to become world-class leaders. In this podcast, we deconstruct the success of high-performance leaders, share their stories, and teach the most effective strategies to move from average to greatness. This is your host, Andrea Petrone, a high performance and leadership advisor, executive coach, and keynote speaker. With more than 20 years of international and executive corporate experience.

Now based on my personal experience, there are really five areas where we should all focus on to develop our own leadership. So, let me tell you what are the five and then we go a little bit more into each of them. 

So, number one, Clarity

Number two, Performance

Number three is the Presence

Number four is the Influence

And number five is the Relationship

And also, now they’re a part of one of the preliminary assessments I do with leaders to understand really where they are in their journey. And they are part of what is called the World Class Leadership Indicator, which is available on the website. But then we’ll come back a little bit later on that. 

The World-Class Leadership Indicator is essentially an innovative and fact-based assessment that we developed internally to help ambitious management executives to really understand where they are in their leadership development journey, and where they shall focus more their attention in the future if they really want to get better. And the five areas are very important. Because if you’re able to score very high in each of these five areas, you’re just one step away from World Class Leadership. 

So, let’s take one dimension at a time. 

So, let’s start with number one, which is Clarity. Any successful journey, as we all know, starts with having really full clarity about our future, our career, our goals, but also potential blind spots that might prevent us from growing further, right? All start with a vision. So, the questions really are, how do you want to, you know, your career to look over in the next two to five years. What’s the vision for yourself, what is your vision for your business, if you have a leadership role in your organization?

So, I really wanted to paint you know, a brief picture with words where you want really your business and yourself to be in the future. And then it goes to the next one, which is super important tool, which is really the mission. So, you know, what is your WHY? So, what difference in contribution do you really want your business yourself to make here? What gets excited about the impact that you or your business can have? And then it comes to values? What are your core values? They’re not negotiable, you’re not going to trade because that’s super important for you. What’s your age? What are the unique talents and capabilities for example, that set you apart? What are the unique qualities attributes, gifts for example, or strengths? What do others say about you, for example, what do you do best? So that’s very important. What’s going to make you unique and stand out either in the market or in the organization. 

Also, without them the most important strategies that you need to take in order to get closer to the vision, and of course, it starts with having a clearer clarity on your goals. And that’s one of the areas where normally people tend to fail because they might have actually vision about the future where they want to be although most of the time it’s blurry and then you need some work. But the vision most of the time is there, but it’s very difficult to translate that vision to very specific goals. They are specific again, that can be measurable. Because if they’re not measurable, as we all know, it’s very difficult to see whether you are on the right path or not. 

And that goes then to the next point. So, what are the performance matrix? So how are you going to measure success? So that’s why, you know, that the combination of vision, mission and goals, specific strategies, initiatives-that matters. Because if you have all in place, some of these dimensions are not going to be enough, right? But both are things that are important. For example, normally, when it comes to having clarity about who we are, where we want to be, we tend to underestimate the importance of relationships. For example, who are the most important people who are critical to our own success. And that’s kind of a question that we need to ask ourselves. As well as what are the development opportunities, what do we need to learn? Or what are the behaviors that we have to change in order to get better? There are so many different elements. And finally, we need to have full clarity on what our strengths are and what are, well, our weaknesses.

For doing that, normally, we need to have support from someone that knows us very well, which can really help because we have our own self-assessment about strengths and weaknesses, which is fine. It’s the minimum requirement, but it’s not enough. We have to connect to the people that know us well, very well. You know, what we do super well and what we probably don’t do so much well. And that is important because we have to have clarity because these are potential blind spots that might prevent us from growing even further. 

Okay, so let’s go to dimension number two. And that is Performance. We know that you know, our personal performance is critical for our own success. And when I say performance, sometimes, there is a misunderstanding of these words. Performance is not necessary or is not just the performance at work in terms of results. But also, these are performances that really helps us to get the most out of our time, our efforts. So, I’m essentially talking about the energy, the motivation, but as well, you know, our productivity, the passionate curiosity. So, these are the grades, these are the elements that are normally very important to measure, to assess, to see where we are. 

And the question to ask ourselves essentially are: Do we have a strong passion for what we do? We like what we’re doing, because we know it’s impactful, and there is a strong purpose behind that. It’s making us happy, for example, that is a question to ask. But it’s not just that passion alone is not enough to measure our performance. We have to check primarily what are our intrinsic motivation. And first of all, if we have a high level of intrinsic motivation. And in other words, is what really drives us every single day consistently to get things done, and closer to our goal? 

People who are high achievers are great performers, normally they have a very high level of intrinsic motivation and they have a very low level of extrinsic motivation. That means that they are not motivated by fame, success, and money. But they are motivated by the personal internal drive. And again, the drive is something much deeper. It’s again more related to the passion they have, the curiosity they have, the willingness to learn every single day, so a combination of that. There are many other elements that come to play when it comes to intrinsic motivation, but that’s what we’re talking about. That’s what we normally measure. 

Also, what is the level of energy? Energy as we all know is important to make a productive and resilient to stress and fatigue. In order to have a great level of energy we have, as well, to build a high-performance routines and hobbies that can of course give us energy but also positivity for most of our time. So, that is important too. 

And then there is a sense of urgency. You know, I mentioned in my previous episode, how important is to have a sense of urgency when you really want to change or advance in your career and go to the next level and raise your standard. Sense of urgency normally is very good because if you have that strong sense of urgency to be better, get better results, and reach your own goal, things normally happen. You don’t procrastinate. You get things done, and you’re highly productive. 

That also normally leads to high determination and a very high level of persistence. So, we can keep pushing regardless of the obstacles and the challenges that we face every single day. 

And last but not least is the focus. You know, are we very focused and productive? So, is it easy for us to get things done? We get great outcome results, or is it not? How are we managing our time? And do we really avoid distraction? And nowadays, that is super important. As we all know, given all the distractions that we have, it’s not just an immediate, but the fact that most of us may be working from home. Or we’re working on a hybrid condition where it’s very difficult actually, to cope with all the new stress or going back to work and maybe changing again, the routines that we all have. So, the distractions are going to increase. 

So, these are essentially the most important elements of dimension number two, that is Performance. 

So, let’s go to dimension number three. And that is the Leadership Presence. When it comes to leadership prizes, what we are saying here is we need to show up consistently in front of our organization, in front of our people, and that’s what real leaders do. They are consistent, they are authentic of what they’re doing, they keep promises and many other things. So, what are these things? 

So first of all, if you like the precondition of praise, and presence is being a lifetime learner, because they normally result in taking consistently opportunities to develop ourselves and grow as a person and as a leader. We normally take the time for ourselves to really learn to improve. That is an important condition to build our leadership presence, you know, to be in front of others. So normally, if when we have a very high-level presence, we consider taking action based on what we say. And as you know, you know, being consistent means that, you know, people around us can trust us. They know that we will do what we say we’re going to do. And that is super, super relevant for consistency, both for leadership. 

Also, presence means that we love to get feedback from others, and we are very open to being challenged. We appreciate and thank people when they give us feedback. So, we can get better at what we do. And this is challenging, most of the time. There is no proper process in place in organizations. So, there is an amount of process, but also there is an element of accepting feedback. 

And for many, unfortunately, it’s very difficult. And by the way, many people, don’t even know how, you know, from a more practical standpoint how to give feedback, how to take feedback. And I’m sure in one of the next episodes, we’re going to talk about feedback because I know that is important for all of you. 

And then the reason there is an element of taking full responsibility for our own action. Do we take ownership and responsibility for what we do? Do we blame others, or actually the situation when things don’t go as expected? When we own our results, we are in control. So, no one else is responsible for that. That’s what great leaders do. So that is presence. And finally, you know, we touched on a little bit earlier in terms of the trust. And great leaders, great presence means having a high level of trust in the people that work around us. Normally great leaders give trust easily. Because they genuinely believe in people, and they generally believe in their abilities to help them to get better results. So, it’s teamwork. So, these are the main elements of dimension number three, that was leadership or is influence? Well, I think it’s clear, right? 

So, any world-class leader is a great influencer, you know, and you want to move and inspire people, either is one to one, or in a group. Because at the end of the day, leadership is influence and influence is leadership. 

So, when we talk about influence, clearly there is a focus on communication. So, do we communicate simply and powerfully? As a result, you know, we see people around us taking action consistently without asking often for clarification. They know exactly what they have to do as soon as they hear from us. That is really an impactful and powerful communication. And this is clearly a challenge for many people. 

And what I think about influence, it’s learning how to listen to others and to hear their stories and thoughts so we can actually get more insights. It’s listening for the sake of helping and generally interested in other people. But also, with the idea in mind that the more we listen, the more actually we learn. 

So, for these reasons, for example, great leaders don’t interrupt others, and they spend so much time talking about themselves but actually, they just want to hear people out. So that’s listening. And I think about communication influence is using different communication styles. Now it’s been from, you know, based on my experience, you know, I shared this with many other people, normally, we use only one or maximum two different communication styles. And that is a shame because there are, you know, more than five or six different communication styles. And we should really learn using all of them, based on the context, based on the situation where we are in. Unfortunately, many people, use one single style, you know, doesn’t matter whether the context is different, the people in front of us are different. And that is a big limitation, because, in that way, we are not able to influence people based on the other people in communication style too.

Influence is also, you know, being effective in convincing and persuading people to take our ideas on board. And in order to do that, we always need to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. So, we can both win in the conversation. Actually, real influence doesn’t happen if there is no win to win for both of us. And again, we’re going to talk in another episode about influence. 

And finally, influence means inspiring mobilized people towards the vision that we are designing for ourselves or for our business, for our organization. As a result, you know, when you are super influential, you see people, you know, being more motivated, they are more positive and effective in their job. So that is really dimension number four and that was Influence. 

And finally, there is dimension number five, which is the Relationship. Great leaders achieve their goals only with the support of others. We have to understand that. There is a beautiful African proverb that says, you know if you want to go out, I remember well, I think he says “if you want to go fast, then go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.” You know, I strongly believe that. And you know, great leaders, they normally score very high in relationships, they don’t like really working alone. They’re very good at working alone, they’re super independent, but they don’t like it because they are more productive and effective when they’re working in collaboration with others. They really foster creativity, innovation, and generate better results. It also develops, you know, oxytocin, which is super important for bonding with others. 

Normally, people that score high in the relationship, they also have a very strong power base, or what is called professional relationships and network available. So that is inside, but also outside the organization. They get easily advised, help in opportunities to reach faster their goals. Here’s the thing, I’ve seen so many times, executives, particularly executives, you know, they had incredible careers and development. And then if you ask them, “Do you have actually a network, a power base of people outside the organization?” They tell you, “No, I don’t, I don’t have that.” 

And one of the reasons is, I think because they’ve you know, they’ve been working only in that organization, that company, which is quite unusual nowadays, for people they used to change quite often. But also, because they never thought about developing relationships outside the organization. And I think also because, probably, they don’t have the end in mind, and then it’s not a bad thing. But then this fact that something might happen, that maybe they want, at some point to change their career to change their company. So, whatever is the reason, they don’t have unfortunately the time, didn’t have a network that can potentially help or support them in their new journey, whatever is that new journey they want to take. So, they realize it too late and they don’t have really that power base available. 

So, I always suggest, really start building your power base, even in your early days in your career, because that is very important for your future. So, don’t just really tap into your network only when you need it, because that’s not going to work anyway.

And again, great people that score high in relationships normally, they, you know, think always about others and now they can make other people more successful. Because they are aware that if they help others to succeed, they will be more successful, too. 

And finally, develop a great relationship with our bosses. You know, the bosses like them, they like them, so they have always a very good relationship. They work well together as a team and they help each other to grow as professionals. And also, they have great relations with the team members. 

Again, we’re going to talk about maybe another episode about sociability, which is potentially a double-edged sword. But having quite high levels of sociability is still very important because that’s the way to engage and motivate and mobilize as well your people. So that’s about dimension number five. 

And just to recap, you know, we talked about dimension number one, Clarity; dimension number two, the Performance, dimension number three, The Presence; dimension number four, the Influence and dimension number five, Relationship

So, all of these five dimensions, as I said, must be in place. And if you are on the right path to World Class Leadership, you really have to score high across all five dimensions. But most likely as with everyone, we might be probably stronger in one dimension, may be weaker in other dimensions. 

So, the key is, if we really understand where we are, that will be much easier to understand what we need to develop or improve in order to get there. So, this is the reason why we developed internally these assessments the World Class Leadership indicator. 

And if you want to take these assignments it’s free so no worries at all. It’s on the website. So, if you go to www.andreapetrone.com/assessment, you have a chance to take this free assessment. It’s going to take really, yeah, probably 10 minutes. There are 25 questions very easy, apparently, to answer but maybe require a little more time because you want to think about it. But by answering these questions, across the five dimensions, you will have at the end immediately actually score. They’re going to give you an idea of where you are in total, but also what are the areas that you need to focus on. So, what are the dimensions that you really probably want to work on in other you know, on your own or with someone else, it doesn’t matter? 

But that’s the reason why we did it—we built it for helping people to understand where they are because I think that’s the key to improvement. If we don’t measure, we can’t improve. And that’s, I think, is one of the basic laws, not only about leadership, of leadership but honestly about our personal performance in our career. So, we have to understand where we are on this journey. 

So, take the assessment. Again, it’s free. It’s on www.andreapetrone.com/assessment. You’re going to receive again the score straight away, but also, you’re going to receive a recap on email. 

So, let me know what you think. Let me know whether, you know, the results that you get at the end of the assessment are in line with what you were expecting or something is very different than what you thought. So that’s it for episode number three. I hope you find it useful and insightful. 

And if you have any comments, feel free to drop me an email at [email protected]

Thank you so much for listening today, and I look forward to seeing you next time. Bye for now.

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