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360 Leadership Guide


The extent to which a leader expresses and strives towards mission and values
Leadership Development Guide

‘Voice’ is the extent to which leaders share their vision, inspire others, set high expectations, communicate persuasively and promote the organisation positively. Leaders who ‘voice’ are prepared to risk popularity to speak up for what is right for their organisation. ‘Voice’ leadership is exerting power through the group, rather than power over a group, to achieve collective goals.

Leaders who exhibit ‘voice’ characteristics help create, and influence, a group’s identity and values. This allows the group to work collectively, helping them perform at levels beyond the transactions and tasks of their daily roles. ‘Voice’ is particularly important for leading organisations through change, by linking changes to the organisation’s purpose and values, and developing and communicating a clear vision for the future. ‘Voice’ differentiates leaders from managers.

Suggested actions

Developing a leadership style which inspires others and promotes the organisations mission and values may require you to:

Learn from others 
  • Look for courses on Executive Disposition, Communication, Presentation Skills and Strategic Planning.
Adapt your behaviour and environment
  • Create and rehearse an ‘elevator pitch’ – a brief summary of who you are and why you exist as an organisation.
  • Communicate your vision, mission and values frequently.
  • Tell stories about actions that reflect your mission and values to build a sense of identity as well as demonstrating your shared values with the group.
  • Make work meaningful by helping others to understand the link between their work and the organisation’s purpose and values.
  • Demonstrate integrity. Make sure your employees can see that you are genuinely championing your group’s ‘cause’, and are acting for them, rather than yourself. If they see one thing and hear another, your credibility is jeopardised and your vision is at risk.
  • Refer to your mission and values when communicating the reason for changes and choices.
  • Tailor your message to your audience. Ensure that your audience can relate to what you are presenting to them. The more you are seen to represent the core values and unique characteristics of your group, the more influence you will have.
  • Use “we” and “us” rather than “I” and “you” while presenting your ideas clearly and concisely.
  • Set high expectations for your group as a whole, and individual team members (Big Hairy Audacious Goals). Help set the team up for success, and give feedback about their progress.
  • People working with leaders high on ‘voice’ say

“You are very enthusiastic in representing the organisation in a positive way”

“You are good at communicating a vision and engaging people in working towards it”

“You believe in the organisation, its values and its future directions and incite enthusiasm in others”

“You’re an excellent presenter; you capture the attention of everyone in the room with your enthusiasm and engaging manner”

“You can see the big picture and you bring people along for the journey in an inspiring and encouraging way”

People working with leaders lower on ‘voice’ say

“Provide clarity about future directions, roles and responsibilities”

“Be clearer about giving direction and communicating what is wanted”

“You need to be clearer in expressing your thoughts and ideas so that you are more authoritative”

“You could use your influence in the strategic planning process to demand more discipline from key people”



The extent to which a leader plans, implements and monitors
Leadership Development Guide

‘Organise’ is the extent to which leaders focus on the transactional and task-oriented aspect of management, and efficiently deliver quality and timely outputs. It involves monitoring performance to ensure quality standards are met, establishing work structures and procedures, minimising role ambiguity and conflict, managing workloads and timelines, and solving problems. Leaders who exhibit ‘organise’ characteristics focus on the rational management of people and resources toward meeting organisational goals, and strive to make organisations as efficient and productive as possible. Goal and task focus are particularly important for success at the management level.

Suggested actions

Developing your competence in planning, implementing and monitoring may require you to:

Learn from others
  • Ask a mentor or a person you believe manages their work and time well. Find out what tools other people use (and how they use them) to manage data and work.
  • Look for courses on Financial Management, Problem Solving, and Project Management.
Adapt your behaviour and environment
  • Use problems and issues as an opportunity to test assumptions and identify underlying root causes. Use a decision-making framework and reflect on what has emerged that you might normally have missed.
  • Plan and prioritise your tasks, to ensure you are spending time on important tasks that will help to achieve your goals, and are not reactive and distracted. Identify those tasks which you must do, would be nice to do, or should do.
  • Encourage your team to understand each other’s work. This will help them to understand the complexities associated with each job, and to be able to problem solve more efficiently.
  • Plan project tasks in detail before commencing project implementation. Include key criteria such as tasks, the owner(s) of the tasks, realistic milestones, equipment, and budget. Communicate well to ensure successful project implementation.
  • Manage expectations around deadlines and ensure there exists a coordinated effort to achieve project goals.
  • Provide leadership and guidance for your team’s projects and act as a champion for identifying and using new technologies to better manage projects.
People working with leaders high on ‘organise’ say

“You have a clear focus on delivering results”

“You respond quickly to matters as they arise”

“Your 'roll your sleeves up' approach is a key strength”

“You are excellent at managing deadlines for all tasks”

“You’re incredibly dedicated to the goals of the organisation and go the extra mile”

“You have strong analytical and problem solving ability, and an ability to find practical solutions”

People working with leaders lower on ‘organise’ say

“Say 'no' on occasion, delegate when possible and sometimes be more direct”

“You need to be able to manage and implement your strategic ideas better”

“Improve project management skills to ensure projects are well planned, monitored and executed”

“You could communicate clearer timeframes, so that I can prioritise my workload better”

“You sometimes tend to involve yourself in the work of others  - you could improve your effectiveness in time management by being more selective in where you place your efforts”

“Follow through on commitments - at times you make commitments to do something and then it doesn't happen because you get caught up in other things.”



Xref's leadership models and guides
Leadership Development Guide

The extent to which a leader is innovative, willing to explore, learn and seeks continuous improvement ‘Innovate’ is the extent to which leaders listen with an open mind, try new things, reflect honestly on successes and failures, create a degree of comfort with change, and help their organisation to adapt.

Innovative leaders demonstrate thought leadership, continuous improvement, intellectual stimulation, risk taking and optimism.

Organisational transformation requires leaders to be innovative and to motivate others to work towards the change. Openness to feedback (positive and negative) and risk-taking can sometimes bring bad news, uncertainty and even failure, but it can also bring great success. Good innovators have a willingness to endure short-term pain for long-term gain. Optimism is a critical skill for motivating others to adapt to change and maintain their behaviour over time.

Suggested actions

Developing openness to learning and risk, and promoting continuous improvement may require you to:

Learn from others
  • Be humble in reflecting on your successes and failures – look for opportunities to learn from your or others’ mistakes to ensure they are never repeated. Solicit feedback, information and ideas from others. Be open to the information that you receive.
  • Listen to others. Practice active listening by reflecting back the key points that you hear and asking probing questions. Consciously spend less time speaking - listen twice as much as you speak. By doing this, you will naturally start to hear more.
  • View, read or listen to something new. Be open to new ideas and broaden your perspective.
  • Look for courses/conferences that will enhance your understanding of the social, economic and political context in which you operate.
Adapt your behaviour and environment
  • Look for challenges that will push you out of your comfort zone. Doing this will help you to challenge yourself, continually learn and grow, and be open to new experiences.
  • Assess and evaluate your risk appetite, and try out new initiatives by taking calculated risks.
  • Create a workplace that encourages divergent, creative and positive thinking.
  • Listen and register a range of ideas first, before evaluating the usefulness of those ideas.
  • Challenge the assumptions that inform conversations. Going back to basics or challenging statements that were “assumed” or “a given” will possibly create some new avenues to explore.
  • Probe and challenge information garnered from others to improve its quality and quantity.
People working with leaders high on ‘innovate’ say

“You are enthusiastic about change in the business”

“You have a willingness to challenge the status quo”

“You try hard at changing things even when they are uncomfortable”

“You have the ability to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions”

“You have a great ability to ask thoughtful and insightful questions before racing to answers”

“You clearly have a drive for continuous change and improvement within the organisation, and you constantly seek more efficient ways of doing things, finding creative and technical solutions”

“You are open to new ideas and engage others in the team to contribute to debate on effectiveness, improvement”

“You’re not afraid to offer another view for consideration which is often very helpful in resolving a complex issue”

People working with leaders lower on ‘innovate’ say

“Don't be limited, take new risks”

“Be careful of jumping too quickly to solutions - take time to consider all angles”

“Be more flexible, you can at times be opinionated and resistant to changes”

“Be more courageous in thinking and manage up those thoughts even if they may be unpopular due to the ingrained culture”



The extent to which a leader involves, recognises and develops others
Leadership Development Guide

‘Connect’ is the extent to which leaders empathise with and support staff. It involves consulting with employees, listening to suggestions, considering employee needs, coaching and mentoring, providing development opportunities, recognising achievements, making positive comments regarding employee capabilities, and diplomatic management of underperformance. Leaders who ‘connect’ provide individualised support and coaching that not only improves the productivity and performance of team members, but fosters trust in and commitment to the leader.

Suggested actions

Developing your skills in involving, recognising and developing others may require you to:

Learn from others
  • Seek feedback about your personal style - What is helpful? What is not?
  • Spend some time identifying and understanding your personality traits. You may seek the help of a counsellor or coach or use some valid and reliable tools including the MBTI and OPQ.
  • Find a mentor who is good at exhibiting ‘Connect’ and who you can learn from. Spend time observing someone you respect or admire for their interpersonal skills.
  • Attend training in specific interpersonal skills such as performance review discussions or coaching others. Having a few tools and guidelines can help you develop these behaviours more effectively.
  • Courses that may be useful include Emotional Intelligence, Customer Service and Negotiation Skills.
Adapt your behaviour and environment
  • Practice recognition by finding one thing about your colleague/staff you can thank or praise them for each day. Recognise achievements in your team meetings. Create organisational approaches to recognise and reward the contributions of people in different groups and roles.
  • Listen to others, and practice expressing empathy - check in with people to ensure that you have heard both the facts and how they are feeling.
  • Spend time talking, rather than emailing, with your direct reports. Schedule regular one-to-one conversations, so you can proactively coach others for success, not just manage poor performance.
  • Empower your direct reports to assume more responsibility, and give them the autonomy to make decisions that affect their work.
  • Establish formal and informal processes to ensure people have sufficient contact with each other and an understanding of each other’s perspectives.
  • Ensure there is a policy in place in your organisation for conflict resolution. This will help to provide a procedure and framework to use when a conflict occurs.
People working with leaders high on ‘connect’ say

“You are compassionate and genuinely interested in others”

“You listen to people's point of view until you understand it”

“You’re open to new ideas and plans and will make the time to engage in discussions”

“You have the ability to facilitate difficult conversations to achieve progress on blockages / blind spots”

“I find you to be exceptionally good at relating to people authentically, treating them as unique individuals and developing their strengths. This creates a very positive work environment”

“You demonstrate a collaborative, inclusive working style - you seek input and feedback from people based on the relevance of their skills/knowledge to a particular project, rather than their seniority or position”

People working with leaders lower on ‘connect’ say

“Spend more time coaching and mentoring your team”

“You could be more consultative in your work processes”

“Be actively involved in poor/under performance of staff”

“Continue to be open to feedback and aware of your own impact”

“Sometimes you tend to dominate discussions and not listen to other’s views”

“Focus more on acknowledging the strength of knowledge and skills of others”



The extent to which a leader finds pleasure in work and life, and manages stress, health and wellbeing
Leadership Development Guide

‘Enjoy’ occurs when leaders have a stable influence on their teams, focusing on stress management, happiness, work-life balance, and health and safety. Leaders who ‘enjoy’ demonstrate deliberate self awareness and reflection on their own actions and reactions, particularly when they are under stress.

Leaders who are more emotionally stable are generally more effective leaders, providing a secure environment in which their team can focus and flourish. Positive emotions are contagious. The wellbeing of leaders influences the wellbeing of team members, with increasing impact over time.

Suggested actions

Making sure you find pleasure in work and life while managing stress, health and wellbeing may require you to:

Learn from others
  • Spend some time identifying your core values, interests, and passions. You may seek the help of a counsellor or coach or use free tools such as the Values in Action character strengths or the Barrett Values Centre PVA.
  • Seek feedback from others and try not to be defensive. Observe and acknowledge how you respond when you get defensive. Reflect on emotional upsets or conflicts to understand the source of your fear, hurt or anger.
  • Keep a diary or learning journal to review what you are learning about yourself.
  • Look for courses on Wellbeing, Executive Disposition, Understanding Self, Positive Psychology and Resilience.
Adapt your behaviour and environment
  • Start an exercise program, such as regular walking. Exercise is great for mental and physical health.
  • Encourage your team to maintain a healthy work-life balance, switching off from work on planned holidays and weekends, and model this behaviour yourself.
  • Provide emotional support to your team, acknowledging that they sometimes have extensive responsibilities outside of work.
  • Bring to work a sense of humour, play and fun, make someone’s day by contributing to their life in a positive way (a random act of kindness).
  • Design work that excites and engages your people. This will promote a sense of ‘flow’ within the workplace.
  • Practice gratitude and write down 5 things you are thankful for each day.
  • Develop the discipline of prayer, meditation or mindfulness to help shift your focus from the immediate environment and improve awareness of your thoughts, emotions and reactions.
People working with leaders high on ‘enjoy’ say

“You are confident and have an easy going manner”

“You have a high level of energy, enthusiasm and positivity”

“We are encouraged to have fun, get involved and enjoy our work”

“You bring calmness to your area that is very helpful and reassuring to the organisation”

“You have a great sense of humour and a very healthy dose of self-awareness about what you can deliver on and where your limits are”

“You have a calming presence in the face of conflict and fast pace which is very helpful in the organisation”

People working with leaders lower on ‘enjoy’ say

“Don't let small things annoy you”

“Remember to laugh when the going gets tough”

“Increase your work life balance to support effectiveness in position”

“Great passion means that you can take challenges or setbacks very personally”

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