Managerial Leadership


The Pitfalls of the Leadership Attributes Models


Dave Ulrich, Jack Zenger, and Norm Smallwood



Though leadership attributes models, in particular the ARE-DO-KNOW approach, received enormous attention in the past, they have a number of pitfalls. In particular, they reduce leadership improvement to development of leader's attributes only. Results are not emphasized.





"Leaders exhibiting attributes without results have ideas without substance. They teach what they have not learned. They can talk a good scenario and even act on sound general principles, but they fail to deliver. These means attributes have become their end. Often popular because of their charm or charisma, they are not long remembered because their leadership depended more on who they are and how they behave than on what they accomplish."





Pitfalls of the Leadership Attributes Models


Rely on past and present attributes. Don't focus on future and don't anticipate new desired attributes Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book.

Rather generic, resemble each other; are not tailored to specific requirements and don't reflect unique challenges of a firm Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book

Theory-based models; don't focus enough on behaviors. Concept-based leadership attribute models don't have the power to build leadership excellence  Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book and effect change; behavior-based one do.

HR-created models are less effective than line-created and owned attribute models. You must involve heavily line managers Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book in crafting attribute models to increase their commitment to them.

Leadership attributes models need to be deployed and used, not just created

Leadership attributes models must define qualities of all leaders Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book and self-leaders, not just those at the top echelon.