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In their book “The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers Into Great Leaders”, Zenger and Folkman present a comprehensive leadership model using the metaphor of a tent supported by five tent poles.

The center pole is Character, while the other four poles are Personal Capability, Focus on Results, Interpersonal Skills, and Leading Organizational Change.

According to their research, 16 competencies differentiate the most effective 20% of leaders from the rest, and when a leader achieves “strength” in three competencies spread across the five tent pole clusters, their overall effectiveness increases to the 81st percentile.

The authors argue that investing in development to transform good leaders into extraordinary ones is crucial. However, good leaders tend to remain at their current level of effectiveness, as they do not see the need to become better leaders.

Zenger and Folkman highlight the “Five Fatal Flaws” that leaders must avoid, including the inability to learn from one’s mistakes, lack of core interpersonal skills, lack of openness to new or different ideas, lack of accountability, and lack of initiative.

Organizations should adopt one model of leadership and set high expectations for leaders while continuing to develop leadership capacity at the senior level. Leaders should focus on building on their strengths rather than eliminating weaknesses.

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