For each dimension, leadership behaviours are shown on a four-part scale which range from ‘essential’ through ‘proficient’ and ‘strong’ to ‘exemplary’. Although the complexity and sophistication of the behaviours increase as we move up the scale, this is not tied to particular job roles or levels. So people in junior roles may find themselves to be within the ‘strong’ or ‘exemplary’ parts of the scale, and senior staff may find themselves in the ‘essential’ or ‘proficient’ parts. Similarly, where you judge yourself may vary depending on the dimension itself. For example, you may be mostly ‘strong’ in a few dimensions, ‘exemplary’ in one, and ‘essential’ or ‘proficient’ in others. This may be appropriate depending on your job role, or it may show that there are areas that need some development or that are a particular strength.
Within these scales, the leadership behaviours themselves are presented as a series of questions. The questions are short descriptions of what the leadership dimension looks like at each part of the scale. These are the questions that guide leaders’ thoughts and result in effective leadership behaviour. They are written in the ‘first person’ (Do I . . . ?), but are not meant to be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Instead, they should help you explore your intentions and motivations, and see where your strengths and areas for development may lie. You may also want to think about what evidence you could provide to support your answers.
Research has shown that all nine dimensions of the model are important in an individual’s leadership role. However, the type of job they have, the needs of the people they work with, and the context of their role within their organisation will all affect which dimensions are most important for them to use and develop. It is also important to realise that areas identified for development within the model may be as much about how you manage yourself as about how you manage your behaviour and relate to other people.