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Leadership Development 1, Requirement 3

Define the seven primary skills of leadership (structure, strategy, staff, style, systems, shared values, strengths/skills), then A) Identify the three skills you are strongest in, and B) Identify the three you are weeakest in and how to improve these skills. (min. 400 words describing improvement outlined in section "B" of this question)

Known as the "McKinsey 7S Framework," these are skills that must be aligned in order for a team to succeed. Each element is mutually reinforcing when everything is aligned, and each one will affect the others as you change them.
  • Strategy – Strategy is the "plan" that you have, or (in our case) the ADF Vision and any strategic goals we might set. This is the over-arching theme that sets you apart from others.
  • Structure – Administrative structure and organizational knowledge, as well as how you work within that structure.
  • Systems – Activities, processes, and the way things work in general; tactical, not strategic.
  • Shared Values – The core values and culture of the organization.
  • Style – How leadership is adopted and the sort of environment that it promotes.
  • Staff – Team members themselves, and their management.
  • Skills – Actual skills of team members and the leader, including how they are used.

The following table lays out the seven factors based on whether they are "hard" or "soft" elements (described below):

Hard Elements Soft Elements
Strategy Shared Values
Structure Skills
Systems Style
Hard Elements
Tangible, fixed items that can be quantified or produced on paper.
Soft Elements
Intangible, culturally-influenced portions of the model.

A) Of these seven elements, I am most focused on strategy, structure, and shared values: I often refer back to the organizational documents, such as the ADF vision, and I have a solid organizational knowledgebank that can tell me who to speak to when I need to resolve an issue. I'm also very heavily invested in the values of ADF as a whole and promote them strongly.

B) Areas where I can imporve include Staff, Skills, and Systems. In many cases, I am looking at improving them already.

I can improve my staff issues by getting to know more about who we have doing jobs, and passing some of those jobs off to others. Importantly, I am an independent worker, and actually prefer to be very "hands off" with others working in the same direction, which means that sometimes I fail to communicate both good coaching and my appreciation for a job well done. Recently, I have been working on this aspect by providing feedback wherever I can (and ensuring that the conversation remains as positive as possible) and also sending out thank you cards (a project I started with our Members' Advocate, Art) at Trillium this past year). I feel it is vital that we not only thank our members for good work, but actively compliment that work wherever we can.

I can improve my skills not only through my own work on this program (and others like it), but also through not limiting myself to the exit standards within this program as opprotunities for learning. Also, I spend as much time as possible spreading knowledge about the Organization, with publications like The Dedicant Path Through the Wheel of the Year and the workshops I do. I've taken to deepening the work I do within my own Grove in terms of training as well, as providing direct religious training to our members hs very helpful to ensuring that our rituals remain excellent and our work remains fertile and fluid while maintaining a connection to tradition. Skills cultivation and application is somewhere where I feel I will always need work, but I intend to consistently pursue it, as well.

Perhaps the hardest of all of these for me, though, is the systems aspect: I am not driven by process or procedure or schedule: instead, I am driven very much by my own internal drive. In many cases, this can cause issues as I work through various projects: I do not always work well with others in the manner defined by our in-place systems. Still, I have been active in suggesting policies and processes that will help clean up some of our systems. Additionally, I am learning how to use systems to my advantage to avoid burnout and other common pitfalls: it never hurts to have a system in place to helps you delegate work and gives clear processes for items you need to do.



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