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A New Model of Leadership

Linking Behaviour to Bottom Line Performance

A New Model of Leadership
The relative success or failure of a particular leader is down to a series of complex interactions between the individ-
ual, the organisation and relevant external factors. By understanding the relationships between the leader and the
underlying context, a model developed by Four Groups called 4G makes it possible to forecast and optimise the
impact of a particular individual and the likely outcome of their leadership style.

Leadership is an issue which permeates throughout an organisation and is not only confined to the executive suite.
The examples in this article draw on the experiences of a few high profile CEOs whose actions have been widely doc-
umented. It is important to remember that similar issues and dynamics affect other individuals within the organisa-
tion and are as equally important.

Looking at contemporary leadership, it move from American Express to IBM months ahead of schedule. There is a
is possible to see how a changing con- and Carlos Ghosn’s career at Renault similar story at Marks and Spencer.
text, in this case, changing organisa- and Nissan show how, despite a chang- While Stuart Rose turned the business
tion, can lead to significant changes in ing context, different leaders experi- around between 2004 and 2008, his
a leader’s performance1. For instance ence different outcomes. This then predecessor, Roger Holmes had a track
John Sculley had an extremely success- begs the question, what is the relation- record that provided a pointed contrast.
ful career with Pepsi and yet his record ship between an individual leader and
at Apple was far more patchy, perhaps the context in which they work? By Just as with Gerstner and Ghosn before
the biggest mistakes being the depar- understanding this constantly changing however, we can also find examples
ture of company founder Steve Jobs in dynamic, it should be possible to gain which illustrate how things can still
1985 and the move to a different tech- greater insight into the potential and work out for the best given the same
nology, PowerPC in the early 1990’s. the likelihood of success of a particular organisation and a change in leader-
More recently, Carly Fiorina’s success at individual within a specific time frame. ship. The succession of Jack Welch to
AT&T was not matched at HP, in partic- Jeffrey Immelt at GE and Lou Gerstner
ular, the merger with Compaq would Similar questions can be asked if we to Sam Palmisano at IBM shows how,
seem to have been a strategic mis- look at examples in which the context, with a similar context and a change in
judgement and undermined her ability or the organisation remain the same leadership, success is still possible.
to lead the combined organisation. but the leaders themselves change.
What underlines both these leader’s The fortunes of two former Chief Another complex issue in the leader-
mistakes is not that they made poor Executives at the supermarket ship equation is the impact of contrast-
decisions but that their actions failed to Sainsbury’s differ vastly. Peter Davis’ ing styles between a new leader and
take into account the culture of the record saw the group’s market share their predecessor. In particular where
organisation. fall from 2nd to 3rd, while his replace- there is a considerable gap or differ-
ment, Justin King, achieved his target ence in personal styles, a period of
By way of contrast, Lou Gerstner’s of raising sales by £2.5 billion three additional uncertainty is likely to arise.

widening the perspective further questions about leadership.g. American Express > IBM Sainsbury’s loosing Peter Davis as chief executive but gaining Justin King. or an existing Lou Gerstner organisation gains a new leader. While AQAL is far from beyond • How do we best deal with a new con. The idea is to show how new Sam Palmisano leadership or a new organisational con. e. Perhaps the such as market conditions or the most useful in this instance is Wilber’s actions of competitors?2 AQAL3.A New Model of Leadership Where this is the case. . may help us understand more of what drives successful outcomes. tion. Stuart Rose selves the victims of their predecessor’s GE legacy. new leaders can find them. Sainsburys sions in the first few weeks will not be ples given judged solely on their own commercial Peter Davis merits but also in relation to the style Justin King and manner of the previous leader. without some quick Roger Holmes results. despite changes in both context and leadership. Context IBM vant background and associated out- Lou Gerstner comes. Leadership in perspective these two factors alone don’t guaran- tee success and there is considerable While the comparison of leader and variability in the eventual outcomes. • How to make improvements when leadership and the organisation are rel There are a number of different frame- atively steady? works that help extend our scope and • What is the role of external factors perspective on leadership. no exam. In Marks and Spencer many cases. the table prompts answers. Jack Welch Jeffrey Immelt Table 1 presents a summary of the Organisational examples highlighted so far. no examples As above. its strength lies in its ability text and a new leader. Existing New Existing Status quo. the rele. context creates more questions than Over and above this. criticism4. • What is the effect on the organisation of a change in leadership and leader. Carlos Ghosn Renault > Nissan As we can see from table 1.g. the new leader Table 1 is likely to face additional scrutiny and Leadership comparison and their actions and deci. either the leader joins a new Carly Fiorina given AT&T > HP organisation e. New John Sculley Assumes a ‘green Pepsi > Apple field’ or startup situa- text has impacted on a specific leader. John Sculley moving from Pepsi to Apple. for example via to link together previously disparate a merger? themes under almost any topic5. Table 2 on the next page introduces ship styles? AQAL from a leadership perspective6.

individual/group and subjec. In Peter Davis – difficult relation applying the model. Peter Davis – unfavourable compar. 4G helps define and predict the meable membranes rather than fixed is a challenge to apply the model in its more intangible aspects of an organisa- boundaries8 truest sense because of limited access tion. In terms of the rationale behind table 2. • Each quadrant is part of two dimen. the scope of this article to outline all adding different approaches. and every aspect of 4G and its applica- perspectives ad infinitum at least in terms of explaining the out. the group culture and By extension. for example. people’s behaviours. Carly Fiorina – disappointing pening again. one could keep explore all of the examples in detail. Before testing the model. Norming. to the self awareness quadrant and to a their relationships and group culture. Jack Welch or Eric Resolution and development Schmidt. there is a chance Peter Davis – poor customer percep. Walter Hewlett ship. Storming Values is what we turn our attention to next. with each of the four quadrants in an • The examples in each of the quad. tions to leadership. the examples • The concepts and examples in the Table 3 quadrants are scalable or fractal in Self Awareness Relationships nature9 Individual subjective Individual objective Carly Fiorina – criticised for ‘hollywood’ Barbara Cassani – resignation Applications lifestyle from Olympics committee after Gordon Brown – has difficulty in interaction with Tony Blair engaging with public Carly Fiorina – fell out with Taking AQAL and applying it to leader. 4G helps people deal levels of granularity and understanding relationship quadrants. Richard Branson. Current examples might include M&S recovery . while there isn’t scope in this article to integrated fashion. it is also ities and to learn from past events. our focus is on ship with Sainsbury family and shareholder unrest with remu leaders who have been subject to pub- neration package lic setbacks of one sort or another. With those Self Awareness Relationships caveats stated. isons to Tesco’s Terry Leahy John Sculley – fell out with Steve Jobs tions with real life examples10. results of HP & Compaq merger don’t suffer setbacks tend to be put on er Peter Davis – problems with dis Roger Holmes – lost confidence of M&S tribution systems pedestals and appear to be beyond crit board Roger Holmes – stagnation of icism . • There is no right or wrong in the table. While it is beyond rants are illustrative. if we can Group subjective Group objective identify the underlying reasons behind Carly Fiorina – fell out with HP board John Sculley – product portfolio a leadership problem. Firstly. it 4G.A New Model of Leadership Table 2 comes of a leader’s actions. Knowing how Collaboration Business Models to prevent and resolve these problems Group Identity Culture Forming . the Awareness Situational Leadership Trust model offers a pragmatic way of classi- Team and Group Culture Business & Social System fying and explaining a variety of differ- Group subjective Group objective ent leadership problems. but the table attempts to add greater lesser degree. In order to improve leadership capabil- sions. Furthermore. Acceptance 360 Feedback Authenticity Leadership Styles As we can see from the examples. leaders have been in the public eye. This Trust Team and Group Culture Business & Social System is for two reasons. it is possible to test its assump. leaders who al difficulties with Alcatel-Lucent merg. Secondly. Four tive/objective7 worth noting that while this group of Groups have developed a tool called • The quadrants are better seen as per. table 3 illustrates these Individual subjective Individual objective examples. and marketing became too frag tions of Sainsbury’s mented we can learn from it and prevent it hap- Patricia Russo & Serge Tchuruk – cultur. tools and the information below is encouraging.

overall leadership effective- ness increases. By looking at different Understand and predict how different Linking human values to eco aspects of leadership through this group values and cultures will interact nomic values is possible. Four Groups Ltd 5 St. United Kingdom. VAT Number: 817 7962 85 Registered in England and Wales . Knowing how different practical and relevant view of the sub. their interaction better under By understanding the dynamics behind stood. react creates a social system to mised complement the business sys exploring some of the examples earlier tem or business model in the article. self acceptance. leadership is complex. Johns Lane London EC1M 4BH. No part of this document may be reproduced without Company Number: 4650494 express written permission from Four Groups Ltd. behaviours.com www. parts of an organisation will ject has been glimpsed. it is hoped that a more and function within the organisation. culture and business systems all need to be taken into account for successful leadership to flourish and sustain itself. relationships with other team members. integrity improve how they function As illustrated by table 4. multi-faceted and leaders must consid- er a wide variety of inputs. Johns Lane London EC1M 4BH. Mastering this delicate balancing act is far from easy but it is hoped that by taking account of these concepts. A New Model of Leadership below should serve as a useful intro. All rights reserved. making framework. Likewise. a comprehensive look at any example in the real world is likely to require more room than this article allows. 5 St. relationships and culture.com © 2008 Four Groups Ltd. while these issues can be aligned and opti. Self aware- ness. United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7250 4779 Email: contact@fourgroups.fourgroups. Table 4 duction. there are a and authenticity number of interventions and examples Trust Team and Group Culture Business & Social System which can be applied across the four Group subjective Group objective quadrants. Self Awareness Relationships Individual subjective Individual objective Final thoughts Various development activities help Understand how immediate and increase leadership skills and self key relationships work and awareness. Such analysis is worthy of something more than the single line of a table! If nothing else.

Its. one could think of depart- Center for Joyful Business mental structure. Politics. Dynamics all speak about progressively frameworks such as Porter’s Five Forces. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In order to remain completely faith.Alan Kazlev. A Critique of Ken Wilber's "AQAL" Philosophy. Many thanks to Marc West at the quadrant. paperback ed. Science and likely to be those with which we have Spirituality.com/64xmjb and http://tinyurl. ture of the economy. It is also worth pointing out that Individual subjective Individual objective other authors have argued for six quad- Physiological Individual relationships rants and this view tends to depend on Safety Team relationships Belonging Relationships with superiors one’s perspective on language and its Esteem Organisational relationships interpretation. the quad.com/55s52h for more ers information Team and Group Culture Business & Social System Group subjective Group objective 6. higher levels of personal awareness Ohmae’s 3C’s and McGahan’s Industry and development. please see http://tinyurl. 2000. industry structure and then struc- input helped shape and inform this arti.com) whose ture.com/6qmccg leadership model. Further ideas on organisational boundaries. rants should be named (in clockwise Appendix 1 order starting from the top left) I. in the bottom right 1. See Self-actualisation Relationships with external stakehold- http://tinyurl. the previous.com/ytrlhm . A Theory of Everything: An Integral 9. An example of the fractal nature of the http://tinyurl. Wilber’s Memes and Graves Spiral 2. illustrating the pro- gression of the ideas in each of the 5. Alternative phrases might be Organisational culture Organisational systems Industry culture Industry systems internal/external or first person/third National culture National economy person Regional culture Regional systems Global culture Global systems 7. In the top left cle quadrant.Footnotes and references 8. membrances and strong opinions weakly held. For example. quadrants and how each one builds on ful to Wilber’s original work. It. Self Awareness Relationships We. Further to demand and competition. M. Department culture Divisional systems tion. The subjective/objective dimension Informal group culture Team systems Team culture Department systems can create a small but subtle distinc. The examples of greatest interest are Vision for Business. Further examples of Change all help define the impact of the fractal nature of the model can be external factors seen in the appendix 3.: ISBN the greatest familiarity with! 1-57062-855-6 Appendix 4. organisational struc- (marc@joyfulbusiness.