The Leadership Challenge

A new type of leadership is needed

The Leadership Challenge

In today's changing and complex world traditional approaches to leadership no longer suffice.The time for 'hero' leaders has passed. Research tells us that people need 'people' as leaders; fully rounded, authentic, resilient, agile, emotionally connected people who can lead with purpose and values. The traditional focus on growing skills and knowledge (horizontal development) is no longer adequate. Leaders must develop a highly sophisticated internal operating system or mindset (vertical development) to be able to deal with the pace of today's change and the challenges it presents to leaders and organisations.

“64% of organisations believe their greatest challenge is developing 'next generation' leaders.”

Bersin, July 2019
Meet Sam

Sam is a seasoned upper-level leader who has been through lots of leadership training over the years. Sam has lots of tools and techniques for giving feedback. Ask them about active listening and you’ll hear a technically perfect description of what it is. Strategy and project management are home territory.​

The challenge for Sam is ‘being’. Sam is always busy yet constantly distracted. As a result Sam is frequently arrogant, aloof and critical of others. Constantly checking e-mail during Zoom meetings, usually after logging in late. Sam knows ‘what leaders do’ but he is often somewhere else. Sam might often think “I don't have time to get everything done or I’m the only person who knows how to manage this project”. That mindset is probably showing up in Sam’s behaviour every day.​

Sam’s boss notices some further development is needed but the solution is focused on learning techniques rather than working on the underlying mindset. In the meantime Sam’s mindset and the resulting behaviours continue unchanged and are having an increasingly adverse effect on the culture of the organisation around them.​

A vertical development focused solution would challenge Sam to make some changes. It would encourage slowing down the frenetic activity to create space for raising some self-awareness. This would lay the foundations for a journey of personal change. Vertical development can help a person like Sam to lead from wisdom and a creative mindset rather than being stuck in one that is reactive, limiting and an often unconscious resulting in a positive contribution to the culture and the organisation.

A Vertical Development Approach

Vertical development is not about training a leader in new skills. It involves transforming the ways a leader thinks. This will then impact on what they do and how they behave. Our approach and the programmes we have designed to develop leaders build on the principles of vertical development. As a result the impact is far greater on both a personal and professional level:

  • Leaders develop the thinking to be able to continue growing and adapting beyond any programme we provide
  • The consequences can be far-reaching impacting on teams, individuals, external networks and subsequently the wider organisational performance
  • We are unlike other learning and development providers - our programmes are underpinned by theory, expertise and a proven track record in experiential development
  • Our vertical development, integrated approach is smart, innovative and will ensure a new generation of leaders for your organisation
  • Investing in people development alongside leadership development creates a multiplier effect on the investment and helps to build cohesion

Find out more

What does Prime Leadership look like?

'Prime Leadership' describes the ideal point on an organisation's development journey where leaders achieve the balance between control and agility.

To achieve this all conditions of the PrimeFocus™ framework must be in balance. The organisation is clear, focused, energised and sustainable with an adaptable approach to the external environment. As a result the organisation enjoys above average growth in value and worth.

We help develop leaders who are able to successfully navigate these complexities and create the conditions in which people thrive, achieving their best performance.

Leadership Development is Changing

“Most of the ways we were taught to think, to reason, to understand simply don’t give us the means to make wise decisions anymore. We don’t know how to be wise stewards of the dilemmas and challenges that confront us daily. We were not taught how to make sense of a chaotic world, or a world-wide interconnected web of activity and relationships.”

Meg Wheatley, Leadership and the New Science

How We Do It

When training focuses on function and delivery, it often results in a return to default behaviour. Any programme we design and deliver incorporates the opportunity to apply and learn through practice and experience. We examine the underlying mindset behind behaviours to stimulate insight, awareness and profound change in behaviour.

Stimulus is designed to appeal to a range of learning styles and provoke a new way of thinking.

“Since 2010 I have continued to work with Primeast for other needs; participating in their inaugural Future Leaders workshops, which focussed on my personal business impact and subsequently supported by a follow-up series of 1 to 1 coaching sessions. This programme contributed enormously to my own personal career success. I was promoted from Regional General Manager, through a number of other strategic roles to my current role as Nuclear Portfolio Director. Primeast has also supported me and a close colleague in helping create and deliver a Delivery Manager Development Programme training programme, for which we are both very grateful.”

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