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Competent program on leadership competencies.

The Extraordinary Leader, video, 2004, 25 min., VisionPoint Productions (800-300-8880,, $795 VHS (Video Home System) A half-inch, analog videocassette recorder (VCR) format introduced by JVC in 1976 to compete with Sony's Betamax, introduced a year earlier. , $995 DVD DVD: see digital versatile disc.
 in full digital video disc or digital versatile disc

Type of optical disc. The DVD represents the second generation of compact-disc (CD) technology.
. Facilitator guide, reproducible re·pro·duce  
v. re·pro·duced, re·pro·duc·ing, re·pro·duc·es
1. To produce a counterpart, image, or copy of.

2. Biology To generate (offspring) by sexual or asexual means.
 participant materials, reproducible self-study workbook work·book  
1. A booklet containing problems and exercises that a student may work directly on the pages.

2. A manual containing operating instructions, as for an appliance or machine.

, PowerPoint presentation available for download To receive a file transmitted over a network. In any communications session, "download" means receive, and "upload" means send. The download/upload often implies a big/little scenario, in which data is being downloaded from the "big" server into the "little" user's computer. , industry versions of case study available for download.

After eight years of research and experience in leadership development, I have found that an effective program includes five elements five elements, fire, water, earth, wood, and metal; in Chinese medicine, each of these five components is used to organize phenomena for use in clinical applications. Each of the elements corresponds to a specific function (i.e.
: behavioral competencies, a tool for assessing the leader's current competency COMPETENCY, evidence. The legal fitness or ability of a witness to be heard on the trial of a cause. This term is also applied to written or other evidence which may be legally given on such trial, as, depositions, letters, account-books, and the like.
 level, a development plan, a link to business results, and a solid coaching follow-through process.

The Extraordinary Leader provides the first three elements. The video, the materials for a two-day program, and the self-study guide each list 16 competencies and provide a self-assessment and a development plan. The materials are based on research gathered by John H. Zenger and Joseph Folkman in their book, The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers in Great Leaders.


The content for the workshop and video is what makes this program worth the money. The video presents five key insights from Zenger and Folkman's research. Their research findings set this program apart from others. The insights include:

1. It's not about going from bad to good. It's about going from good to great.

2. Focus on building strengths, not fixing weaknesses.

3. There are five clusters of strengths that really matter.

4. Combinations of strengths produce exponential 1. (mathematics) exponential - A function which raises some given constant (the "base") to the power of its argument. I.e.

f x = b^x

If no base is specified, e, the base of natural logarthims, is assumed.

5. The fastest way to becoming extraordinary isn't always a straight line.

The video includes a female host and John "Jack" H. Zenger. Because the video is simply "talking heads
For other uses, see Talking Heads (disambiguation).

Talking Heads were an American rock band that formed in the early 1970s and was based out of New York City. The group consisted of David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison.
," conveying information, the program designers have done a good job of varying the background settings. For example, when Zenger uses diving diving

Sport of plunging into water, usually headfirst and often following the execution of one or more acrobatic maneuvers. It emerged as a competitive sport in the late 19th century and became part of the Olympic Games in 1904.
 as an analogy analogy, in biology, the similarities in function, but differences in evolutionary origin, of body structures in different organisms. For example, the wing of a bird is analogous to the wing of an insect, since both are used for flight.  for how small changes the diver diver, general term used to refer to many diving birds, e.g., the loon, the grebe, and some ducks, auks, and penguins.  makes can make a big difference in terms of the scores he or she receives, he is filmed in front of a competitive diving pool. The teaching point is that leaders can make small changes in their approach that have a large impact.

According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the host, the research from Zenger and Folkman is "solid, quantitative, research from two of the most prominent thought leaders on leadership development. Joe and Jack conducted an exhaustive, scientific analysis of the performance of over 25,000 real-world leaders from across the country and around the world."

Personally, I have great respect for Zenger's previous work in leadership development. He designed several programs that I purchased from his former company, Zenger-Miller. Recently, I gathered information for the work I do with my own clients from his book Results-Based Leadership published in 1999.

In sharing insight number three, the video designers visually represent the five clusters of strengths (competencies) onscreen on·screen or on-screen  
adj. & adv.
1. As shown on a movie, television, or display screen.

2. Within public view; in public.
 with the poles of a tent. The clusters include:

* Character

* Personal Capability

* Results

* Interpersonal Skills "Interpersonal skills" refers to mental and communicative algorithms applied during social communications and interactions in order to reach certain effects or results. The term "interpersonal skills" is used often in business contexts to refer to the measure of a person's ability  

* Leading Change

The tent poles tent pole nmástil m

tent pole tent nmontant m de tente

tent pole nZeltstange f
 represent that the clusters need to be developed in combination rather than one at a time. This is important because many leaders already have strength in one area, and research indicates that strength in a single area can actually decrease a leader's effectiveness. This concept flows easily into insight number four, where Zenger and Folkman have found combinations of strengths important in terms of how a leader is perceived. For example, imagine a leader had strong interpersonal skills, but she didn't have good listening skills. She would be perceived as being phony. Zenger explains that by noticing the strength of strong interpersonal skills, the leader can look at and improve the combination strength and exponentially ex·po·nen·tial  
1. Of or relating to an exponent.

2. Mathematics
a. Containing, involving, or expressed as an exponent.

 improve results.

In addition to the materials included in the package, there are PowerPoint slides on the publisher's website. The self-study guide offers an assessment that the learner can take to determine areas for development. There is also a version to give to others to complete so the learners can gather another perspective in addition to their own. A 15-step development plan included in the participant workbook and the self-study guide extends the learning from an event to a process. Extending learning beyond the classroom is an important aspect of leadership development that I look for when selecting materials.


The facilitator guide is missing two vital pieces of an effective leadership development program. It has no plan for linking the learning to business results or for coaching as a follow-up to the development planning activity. Developing leaders is unique from other types of learning because people are changing behaviors that are more than likely unconscious. This creates the need for a plan that identifies specific business results as a goal to work toward and coaching to help leaders implement the development plan. An experienced facilitator will know to do that.

However, the instructional value of this program suffers in my ranking because one of the objectives listed is to "apply strength and behaviors that demonstrate leadership effectiveness in workplace situations." I think it is unlikely that facilitators with less experience in implementing effective leadership development will be able to achieve that objective without specific direction.


Even though the program is missing two elements of a comprehensive leadership development program. The Extraordinary Leader provides very good value for the money. Many companies spend a lot of time and money developing competencies before they begin a leadership development program. Purchasing this set of materials is an opportunity to utilize reliable information about competencies and a development plan. This will save the organization time and money on development. Instead of investing resources in creating competencies, companies could invest the money for this program and have access to the research already done by Zenger and Folkman. Then, with the money the company saves, they can invest it in a plan for coaching follow-up that links the learning to the organization's business results. As I said earlier, facilitators of this program will need to be experienced because information about how to link learning to business results and implement coaching to support the transfer of learning is missing from the facilitator guide.
The Extraordinary Leader star rating


Holds viewer interest  3
Acting/Presenting      3
Diversity              2
Production quality     2.5
Value of content       3.5
Instructional value    2
Value for the money    3.5
Overall rating         3
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Author:Bryce, Deanne
Publication:Training Media Review
Article Type:Video Recording Review
Date:Sep 1, 2004
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