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Bruce Holland

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Beware of One-Size-Fits-All Leadership Development

Most leadership development programs are off-the-shelve. They are based on 'best practice' and assume 'one-size-fits-all'.

They are based on researching the best practices of 'great leaders' distilling these into formulas and selling these as solutions for everyone else.

All the research from Herrmann International's database shows that there is no such thing as one-type-of great leader instead leaders come from all types (Blue, Green, Red and Yellow).

There are two things that make great leaders

  1. They know who they are and they play to their strengths. Knowing who they are is vital to their authenticity because unless they know who they are no one else will know either and they will come across as 'flaky', insincere and inconsistent. Authenticity is a leaders most precious commodity, and they lose it when they attempt techniques that don't fit their strengths. Playing to their strengths is important because if they try to do things that make another types successful they will just look silly and will not succeed. Yet, 'best practice' is exactly what off-the-shelf leadership development tries to develop.

  2. They know that each of their people is a different colour with different gifts to give. They know that if they treat each person the way that colour wants to be treated they will get a vibrant rainbow1, but if they treat everyone the same they will get muddy gray results. Yet, one-best-way to treat staff, is exactly what most leadership programs teach.

So, how does my Irresistible Leadership Program differ?

First, we start off profiling people so they know who they are (using Herrmann's Brain Dominance Index), where they are on their journey (discovering their archetypes) and uncovering their core of greatness (Genius Factor).

Then we tailor the program, like a glove, so each individual grows their specific strengths, learns how to cover their weaknesses (instead of wasting effort trying to become stronger where they are weak) and moves their journey towards their genius.

Specific Examples

In other words, our program will benefit different people quite differently depending on how they think. For example:

  1. If you are a Blue leader our program will help you (among other things specific to your colour) look for ways to use your strengths in problem solving, dealing with data and clarifying goals in a complex world. By helping you find ways to use your strengths our program will make you stronger and more useful to your organisation.

  2. If you are a Green leader our program will help you look for ways to use your strengths in just-in-time planning, walking-the-talk and managing complicated operational issues.

  3. If you are a Red leader our program will help you look for ways to use your emotional intelligence to read others emotions and to create a culture of shared values, trust, openness, and personal loyalty.

  4. If you are a Yellow leader our program will help you look for ways to use your strategic, holistic strengths to guide rapid change and make decisions in a world of great uncertainty.

Covering weaknesses

Most leadership programs identify an individual's weak points and try to make these stronger. If you work on your weaknesses they may become slightly less weak; but, if you put the same effort into growing your strengths you will get far greater gains. However, this only works if there is some way to cover your weaknesses.

The way we help leaders 'cover their weaknesses' varies from case to case but it usually involves a combination of:

  • Delegating work in areas where they are weak to others who are strong
  • Outsourcing
  • Technology solutions
  • Eliminating the work
  • Working in rainbow coloured teams
  • Leveraging other people's knowledge, skills, energy, money, success, failure, ideas, and relationships.


If this makes sense to you, and you (or anyone you know) wants to become a stronger leader, you are in luck because my "Cracking Great Leadership Program" is just what you are looking for. Give me a call if you are interested or if you know someone I can contact. It may turn out to be the best thing you've ever done.

Warmest wishes,
Bruce Holland
Virtual Group Business Consultants
Phone +6421620456 or Skype Bruce.Holland
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Key words: Leadership, leadership development, leadership management, leadership training, leadership program, leadership skills.

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