Todd Grotenhuis

15 Mar 2021

Processing my Leadership Competency Survey

Yes, I’m processing these “out loud” on the Internet. Writing helps me work through it and keeps me honest to myself. I won’t share all the details, but will share a few notes along the way.

The Background:
All the leaders in my broader group (think: my boss’s boss’s group, about 800 people) are going through a leadership curriculum. As part of this, we had a leadership competency survey that went to our manager, a small number of self-selected peers, and a small number of self-selected stakeholders. There were 27 questions rated 1-5, with 3 questions for each of the 9 competencies that were being measured.

Initial Observations:
  1. Benchmark: One of the first things I looked at was whether I exceeded the benchmark score. This was not simple vanity: it’s at the top of the report. The summary shows how I scored myself overall, how each of the respondent groups rated me overall, and how the broader respondents rated everybody (the benchmark). I’m happy to see that I exceeded the benchmark, but without a view of the distribution I can’t tell for sure how significant the difference is. I realize I should not spend too much time here, as it’s comparative with others and not necessarily fruitful.
  2. Perception Gaps: Next, the survey advises to be wary of gaps between the self-rating and those of respondents, or between types of respondents. They suggest that 1 point (in either direction) is cause for concern. I’ve made progress here! In other community assessments (e.g. EQ360) in years past, I significantly underrated myself. I’m pleased that I still erred towards under-estimation, and that the margin of under-estimation has dropped to 0.28 points (on that 5-point rating scale). My goal is to continue to get that closer to 0, but as long as there is an error, I’d rather it be on the side of under-estimation. I had no major gap between respondent group types, which indicates I’m not overly-prioritizing some audiences over others. Later in the report we’ll look at gaps on specific rating areas.
  3. Competencies: Across the 9 competencies, mine were all clustered around the same rating (only 0.27 difference between my best and worst), with scores I’m happy with. The only surprising result here was “Dare to Be Curious” being my worst. Why? Because curiosity is one of my primary approaches, especially in challenging moments or situations. Looking at the three questions that contributed to that competency rating, my lowest result (4.6) was for “Asks the ‘right’ questions to size up or evaluate situations”. I know that sometimes I go too quickly to brainstorming and solving instead of asking coaching-style questions. I’ll continue to work on this practice. Here is the ranking of my competencies, in order:
    1. Model the Way
    2. Value Every Voice
    3. Respect Differences
    4. Connect with Purpose
    5. Improve and Grow
    6. Partner for Success
    7. Embrace Transparency
    8. Make it Happen Today
    9. Dare to Be Curious

Breakdown:
I like the way they’ve looked at the four quadrants based on self-rating and respondent rating. E.g.:
quadrants.png
Note: These are analyzed at the 27-question level, not the 9 competencies.

  1. Strengths: These are the top 5 areas. As with StrengthsFinder I should lean into these. I am glad all of these are in the Strengths section:
    1. Welcomes the contributions of team members
    2. Treats people with respect
    3. Keeps others informed about decisions that affect their job
    4. Openly discusses my career path goals with me
    5. Demonstrates strong business/personal ethics
  2. Areas for Improvement: These are my bottom 5 areas. These are questions where the answers are a little painful and represent my biggest development opportunities. I’m not going to beat myself up about these, because even my worst was a good score (4.56 out of 5), but they are still places where I can and will continue to grow.
    1. Fosters an environment where employees want to do their best
    2. Asks the “right” questions to size up or evaluate situations
    3. Understands how to get things done through formal/informal processes and procedures
    4. Openly shares mistakes, shortcomings and failures to help others learn and avoid similar issues
    5. Has the ability to link long-range visions and concepts to daily work
  3. Hidden Strengths: Earlier, we talked about how being off by a whole point could be a gap in perception. Well, these are the two questions where I scored myself a point less than my respondents (I gave myself a 4 and they gave me a 5). I should update my perspective in these areas:
    1. Treats people with respect
    2. Keeps others informed about decisions that affect their job
  4. Blind Spots: none! There were no questions where I gave myself a point more than the respondents did. I’m very happy to see that. 

This was a good experience to go through. I’ll look to lean in more to my strengths, continue to work on my areas for improvement, and update my perceptions of my skills.


Originally posted at Hey World