Answers and feedback
The following are not scientifically validated answers but represent primarily the opinion of the author based on his experience as an international leadership coach and trainer. Score one point for every correct answer, giving a possible total of 36 points.
1. Defining leadership A–3 It is extremely difficult to define universal qualities of leadership that are relevant in all contexts. What counts as “good” leadership depends very much on the demands of a specific situation. B–4 According to an article in the Harvard Business Review in 2010 called “The Most Important Leadership Competencies, According to Leaders around the World”, a commitment to ethics is rated by leaders today as the most important competence. C–1 Agile practitioners focus on a number of dimensions of practice, three of which are central: speed, continuous improvement and customer focus. D–3 When it comes to international leadership, although listening and authenticity are important, the collaborative co-creation of the rules of engagement, involving all members of a team, can be seen as best practice.
2. The challenges of change A–1 Although many leaders fail to communicate the logic of important change initiatives, understanding the strategic drivers in terms of market realities is nevertheless important for all employees. This can help to overcome resistance to what might be seen as unnecessary change. B–1 The classic stages of change — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance — are derived from a model based on bereavement. Although questioned by many today, the framework is a useful starting point for thinking about how to engage people in new ways of working. C–4 Empathetic listening is generally acknowledged as being important when dealing with people in denial about change. Rather than trying to convince others, simply allow them to vent their feelings. D–2 The perceived value of consultants is very mixed. For many, consultants make change more problematic due to their use of models and ideas unrelated to their client’s organization. However, their external perspective can bring valuable insights to organizations looking to escape their own history.
3. Creating a healthy culture A–3 Respectful and trusting relationships lie at the heart of any healthy culture — be it of a team, a department or an organization. Although business professionals often neglect the value of positive relationships, they are a central pillar of culture. B–4 Intercultural training is a common way for leaders to attempt to develop a team culture. However, this often leads to the presentation of inaccurate stereotypes. Enabling teams to build their own unique culture is more empowering and can create a deeper commitment to act in a constructive manner towards other colleagues. C–3 Human behaviour derives from attitudes and assumptions. If these are positive, then collaborative behaviours will flourish and enable diversity to become an advantage for the team, not a liability. D–4 Many professionals complain about leaders micromanaging their teams. In reality, this perception is often a misunderstanding of a leader’s positive intention to support a team member. If you feel micromanaged, challenge that perception, and engage with your leader to discover the real motivation behind the behaviour.