LeadershipTraction frames much of its work in the context of an early/modified version of Justin Menkes’ Executive Intelligence research that we refer to as the 4-Stages of Leadership Competency Growth:

stages of leadership growth
  • Stage 1 – Information Management – the ability to identify, gather, analyze, and make use of data needed to improve information flow, process management, problem-solving, and accountability control.
  • Stage 2 – Task Management – the ability to achieve results that mitigate unwanted risk, forward stated goals, objectives, and priorities, and minimizes unintended consequences.
  • Stage 3 – People Management – the ability to work with, though, and for, others in increasingly respectful, engaging, constructive, and relationship-building ways.
  • Stage 4 – Self-Management – the ability to recognize our own impact, take full responsibility for it, and modify our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors, appropriately, effectively, and in real-time.
It turns out that there are specific cognitive aptitudes that to a large extent determine whether an executive succeeds or fails.
– Justin Menkes, Author of Executive Intelligence

Information Management

The most fundamental competency for anyone in any leadership position is INFORMATION MANAGEMENT – the Gathering, Differentiating, and Processing Data about What’s Going On. Indeed, accurately defining the work to be done is, literally, Job One. Yet a surprising number of leaders merely react to circumstances without putting information into a broader context, including:

  • Knowing where to look, and who to talk with, in order to stay current with both formal and informal priorities.
  • Recognizing what is known about an issue, what more needs to be known, and how best to obtain the relevant and accurate information needed.
  • Examining, more critically, the accuracy of the underlying assumptions that others are basing their conclusions on.
  • Defining, more clearly, the problems at hand, and better differentiating essential objectives from less relevant concerns.
  • Being more strategic in the information they seek and share with others.

Task Management

Most leaders already possess a certain level of proficiency in this next stage of leadership competency – TASK MANAGEMENT – the Getting the WORK Done part. In fact, one rarely even gets promoted into a leadership role without demonstrating a certain proficiency in this area. But a true leader must master a much more advanced set of task management skills, including:

  • Being able to fully articulate what does, and does not, need to happen.
  • Anticipatinge, and planning for, likely obstacles in achieving stated objectives, and how to ably circumvent them.
  • Using multiple perspectives to identify likely unintended consequences of various actions and plans.
  • Aligning available resources and insuring resources resources are made available in timely and appropriate ways.
  • Assigning, tracking, and holding people accountable for the commitments they make and desired outcomes they do and do not achieve.

People Management

Many leaders, though, tend to struggle when it comes to the third stage of leadership development – PEOPLE MANAGEMENT – that is, Working With, And Through, Other People. Some try to be their employees’ best friends. Others are afraid to ‘push back’ even on the most egregious behaviors and comments. Still others seemingly can’t help but to annoyingly micromanage. Key skills, here, involve:

  • Recognizing the conclusions that can and cannot be drawn from a particular exchange.
  • Identifying the likely underlying agendas and motivations of individuals and groups that are involved in a situation.
  • Anticipating the likely emotional reactions of individuals to actions or communications.
  • Decifering the core issues and perspectives central to whatever conflicts arise.
  • Appropriately considering the probable effects and likely unintended consequences that may result from taking a particular course of action.
  • Recognizing and balancing the different, and often competing, needs of all relevant stakeholders.
  • Leveraging the full 360° of Directional Leadership


The fourth stage – SELF MANAGEMENT – Recognizing Your Impact and Modifying Your Thoughts, Feelings, Beliefs, and Behaviors, Accordingly – is the often the trickiest stage to improve upon…because it’s the most personal. Many leaders just aren’t aware of their impact, in real time. Or maybe they are, but don’t have the tools to ‘autocorrect’ in the moment. LeadershipTraction fosters the type of meaningful dialog that enables executives, vice presidents, directors, middle-managers, and up-and-coming new leaders in:

  • Pursuing and encouraging feedback that may reveal an error in judgment and them name appropriate adjustments.
  • Demonstrating an ability to recognize one’s own personal biases or limitations in perspective and use this understanding to improve one’s own thinking and plans for action.
  • Recognizing when serious flaws in one’s own ideas or actions require swift public acknowledgement of the mistake and a dramatic change in direction.
  • Respectfully articulating the flaws in the arguments of others and collaborating on the strengths of moving forward togeher.
  • Recognizing when it is appropriate to resist the objections of others and remain committed to a sound course of action.

The bottom line is that Leadership Competency is the “stuff” that determines if someone will succeed or fail as a leader – and whether they’ll thrive or unnecewsarily struggle in leading the work groups, teams, departments, divisions, or companies, in their charge.

The Leadership Competency/ Promotability Index

The Leadershp Competency/Promotabilty Index Assessment

The Leadership Competency/ Promotability Index (LCPI) is a leadership development assessment that is based on the works of Justin Menkes (Executive Intelligence, HarperCollins Publishers, 2005), and Richard Beckhard and Reuben T. Harris (Organizational Transitions: Managing Complex Change, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1987), and the research findings reported in Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton (The Free Press, 2001).

LCPI Assessment Versions

  1. The LCPI-360° – the LCPI-360° is a multi-rater assessment that solicits feedback from your peers, direct reports, and more senior leaders in your organization as to what type of leader you are and your readiness for additional responsibilities and authority. This assessment includes a 1½-to 2-hour, 1-on-1, debriefing/review by telephone, to help you make sense of – and derive the most value from – it’s reported findings.
  2. The LCPI-I the LCPI-I (individual) is a self-assessment tool that helps individuals identify the gaps in their s own thinking and planning, as a leader, and their self-perceptions as to their readiness and interest in assuming additional responsibilities and authority. The LCPI-I includes the 45-to-60-minute, 1-on-1, debriefing/review by telephone, to help you make sense of – and derive the most value from – its reported findings.
I learned so much from my LCPI assessment…things about myself that pretty much everyone else already knew, I’m embarrassed to say. But now that I know, too, I can actually do something about it.
– LCPI assessment-taker

Interested in learning more about the LCPI for you, your direct reports, or others in your organization?

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"Improve your skills. Find your voice. Build your reputation. Make good things happen sooner."
- Barry Zweibel, MCC-Master Certified Coach and Mentor

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