The Case for Leadership DNA

“More than 30 years of Harvard Business School research has shown that aligned and integrated companies outperform their nearest competitors by every major financial measure. The organisational effectiveness emanating from alignment is a significant competitive advantage. Alignment stems from the genetic code that drives the optimal state in which strategy, employees, customers and key processes work in harmony to drive growth and profits.”

Benefits of a leadership culture



The ability for people to lead at their specific level, but within the genetic wiring of the organisation is essential. When everyone functions within an aligned, synchronised and focus manner, it means that the organisation is functioning in its most efficient and effective mode.

More ownership and responsibility, taken across all levels, but still within the defined parameters of the overall organisational DNA boundaries, allows flexibility, adaptability and agility across all levels without requiring the bureaucratic controls to be followed.



The new economy demands agility and flexibility. With the advent of the disruptive Industry 4 upon us, this ability to be agile and adaptive will be something that every member in an organisation has to be able to manage. This means that the old order of hierarchical command-and-control management is ill suited to the new demands, and requires leadership not only at the top and mid levels, but across all levels of the organisation.



Each person can now become accountable, and hold those plugged into them accountable via the genetic code. Self-leadership is a bi-product of a leadership DNA programme. The more people that begin to lead themselves, the less problems are resident within the organisation.

Leadership DNA

The environment has changed — it is becoming more complex and challenging

Trends are indicating that a future made up of complex, chaotic environments is less suited to the problem solving of lone, decisive authority figures than it is to the distributed efforts of smart, flexible leadership networks. The era of collective leadership has dawned.

The decline of the heroic leader–the rise of collective leadership

If leadership is thought of as a shared process, rather than an individual skill set, organizations and individuals that choose to embrace a collective leadership approach will align themselves with the wave of new methods and technologies that are changing the way we work and organize our workplaces.

Required Skill Sets

The required skill sets have changed

Many leadership programs are based on the faulty assumption that if you show people what to do, they can automatically do it. However, there is a difference between knowing what “good” leadership looks like and being able to do it. We may be arriving at a point where we face diminishing returns from teaching managers more about leadership, when they still have little understanding about what is required for real development to occur

More importantly is the fact that the leadership role and the required skills required to function within this rapidly changing environment is very different to what may have worked before. It will require leadership skills beyond the traditional “management” and “supervisory” roles, and it will demand genuine leadership capabilities. Leaders will have to adapt to constant change and rely on a solid blueprint and playbook to help them stay grounded and navigate the new challenges.


Steps to building a Leadership genetic code in your organisation


Trends are indicating that a future made up of complex, chaotic environments is less suited to the problem solving of lone, decisive authority figures. It is better suited to the distributed efforts of smart, flexible leadership networks. The era of collective leadership has dawned, and with it the need for leadership skills and capabilities throughout all levels of an organisation.

Step 1

Establish a leadership DNA throughout the organisation

Statistics show that the average organization is forfeiting millions per year in untapped potential, and lose as much as 50 percent productivity because of less-than-optimal leadership practices.

The Ken Blanchard Companies, The High Cost of Doing Nothing


Reduce the impact of ineffective leadership

Ineffective leadership has an impact on managers, staff, the organisation and external stakeholders

80% of managers fail to impress in the first 2 years. 70% of managers are stressed, and 70% do not enjoy their jobs.

In the organisation there is a lack of alignment, loss of key staff, low efficiencies and disengaged workforce.

The result is a loss of competitive advantage and a loss of customers that lead to lower bottom line profits, and put business sustainability at risk.

Step 3

Be quick, flexible and confident

Today’s market environment places a premium on speed, flexibility, and the ability to lead in uncertain situations.

Deloitte University Press

To be competitive, the collective organisation needs to be agile, adaptable and flexible. A well equipped, confident, aligned and focused team is required.


Develop Leaders

Only 13% of companies say they do an excellent job developing leaders at all levels.

A leadership shortage is one of the biggest barriers to growth at companies around the world. In fact, developing new leaders is the No. 1 talent challenge facing organizations worldwide, with 86 percent of companies rating it as “urgent” or “important.”

Step 5

Develop the millennials now

Millennials are rapidly becoming the leaders of today, but many are not prepared.

By 2025, millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce

65% of millennial leaders feel unprepared for their leadership role

87% of companies say they don’t do an excellent job developing leaders at all levels


Use a leadership blueprint for alignment

Leadership skills and confidence is required through all levels of the organisation. An easy to use, and common  blueprint is the key to success.



Explore the Expectational Leadership Blueprint

Step 7

Equip everyone to self-lead

Organizations have traditionally aimed training budgets toward leadership development. But research indicates that this narrow focus comes at the expense of individual contributors and the success of important organizational initiatives.

When people become empowered self leaders, they’re proactive self-starters who look for ways to make your organization flourish.


…but, in a way so different from the mainstream, so simple, and effective, that you really need to see how we do this