Bob Anderson has dedicated his career to exploring the intersections between leadership and personal mastery, and between competence and consciousness. Over the past 35 years, he has helped leaders gain deep, personal insight into their creative competencies that promote effective leadership, and their reactive tendencies that limit it. He is the creator of The Leadership Circle Profile, a 360 leadership assessment tool that provides integrated feedback in multiple domains across the Creative and Reactive categories.
“A Creative style of leadership is driven by passion, purpose and vision and is about bringing into being what I care about and becoming who I most desire to be as a leader. Reactive leadership is about responding to problems, fears and threats.
You can’t create the kind of agile, adaptive innovative and engaged workplaces that we are trying to construct in order to thrive in a VUCA world. You literally can’t create those cultures and systems and structures from a Reactive leadership mindset.”
– Bob Anderson
The Times Call for Exemplary Leadership
Bob and I spoke on February 21, 2020. The date is significant because the first case of community-spread novel coronavirus had not yet been detected in the U.S. Today the U.S., as well as much of the globe, is in some sort of lockdown to prevent its spread. The lack of mention of Covid-19 seems tone-deaf today, as managing the spread and responding to the health and economic crises are all-consuming for many.
Bob has spent the past few decades understanding what characteristics indicate a leaders’ ability to deal effectively with the increasingly complex situations they’re presented with. Our current, unfortunate predicament illustrates, even more, the need for agile, innovative and visionary leadership.
[17:26]: The highly effective, and Creative leaders had a very different set of strengths. They had all the other strengths in equal measure: technical strengths, domain knowledge, etc., but they excelled at people, … people, teams, developing people, listening, approachable. Six out of the top 10 most commented-on strengths for the highly effective Creative leader group had to do with people and teams and their ability to develop people and lead them well.
The next set of strengths was purpose, vision and authenticity, and that rounded out the top 10 list of the most effective leaders. Yes, they have their technical skills and their intellect and brilliance. You have to have that to play. That’s table stakes. It doesn’t define leadership, and it doesn’t scale if you’re trying to run your leadership through your own creative brilliance. It scales when you can develop that in others.
The top 10 Creative competencies, according to write-in comments on the Leadership Circle Profile 360:
[20:48]: Number one: Strong People Skills. 79% of leaders had three or more comments from their raters on good with people – 79%. Reactive leaders rated only 28% good with people. That just sums it up. If you look at the list, Strong People Skills, Visionary, Team Builder, Personable/Approachable, Leads by Example. That’s authenticity and integrity, right? Passion & Drive, that’s purpose. Good Listener, Develops People, Empowers People, Positive Attitude. That’s the top 10 list.
Creative and Reactive dimensions of the model:
Leadership Circle Profile:
Full Circle Group:
Socialized and Self-Authoring mindsets:
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