Over the course of 30 years, FranklinCovey’s point of view on leadership has, in many aspects, evolved substantially and also very much stayed the same.
When I joined the firm nearly 25 years ago, our flagship leadership development offering was Principle-Centered Leadership, based on the seminal book by our co-founder, Dr. Stephen R. Covey. This classic book featured a collection of essays and articles by Dr. Covey that reinforced the concept that in life, and in work, there are principles external to us that govern all of our choices and behavior. We can choose how we act, but we cannot choose the consequences that come with those actions. They happen independent of our desire and intent. Consider revisiting this classic leadership book to remember how vital principles are in our roles as leaders.
Subsequent to the success of this leadership solution that thousands of clients around the world implemented, we built a new offering titled The 4 Roles of Leadership. This two-day leadership development offering focused on an inspiring and relevant model that featured four distinct leadership roles: Aligning, Pathfinding, Empowering, and Modeling. Its focus on these distinct but integrated roles resonated at a time when many leaders were starting to face significant global competition, 24/7 workplace connections, and a massive pull on work/life balance. This offering was sensationally well-received at mid and senior levels inside organizations and remained our core leadership offering for over a decade.
In the mid-2000s, we finished a multi-year redesign of our next offering to update The 4 Roles of Leadership titled Leadership: Great Leaders, Great Teams, Great Results. This comprehensive offering included world-renowned thought leadership, both from our own internal experts, as well as business greats like Ram Charan, Jack Welch, Clayton Christensen, and others. Focused on enormously practical leadership skills, this multi-day work session developed much-needed leadership skills, including designing your strategic narrative, augmenting your business acumen, connecting your team’s contribution to your organization’s mission and money-making model, etc. Again, this offering remained a robust component of tens of thousands of organizations’ investments in their internal leadership development. A huge global hit, Leadership: Great Leaders, Great Teams, Great Results is still a preferred offering inside many clients because of its timeless teachings.
More recently, FranklinCovey concluded a significant research initiative to deeply understand the role leaders play in developing and sustaining (and destroying) culture. After several hundred client interviews, and dozens of pilots and beta programs, we officially launched two separate leadership offerings aimed at first-level leaders and mid- to senior-level leaders. In 2018, The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team released worldwide in our All Access Pass. This one-day offering is aimed directly at new leaders who are transitioning from being a recently promoted and successful independent producer, who now are facing an entirely new level of responsibility and challenges leading a team. The 4 Essential Roles of Leadership, aimed at mid to senior leaders, is a more comprehensive offering featuring a new model that emphasizes four specific leadership competencies: Inspire Trust, Create Vision, Execute Strategy, and Coach Potential. This solution is, in my judgement, a must-attend experience for every leader, regardless of level. Built into highly modular and flexible formats, The 4 Essential Roles of Leadership can be facilitated virtually, digitally or live in-person—however an organization needs, given the nature of their own workforce.
It’s truly been an honor to have traveled this journey with FranklinCovey over the decades. What’s changed? Lots of new titles, case studies, videos, exercises, role plays, etc. What hasn’t changed? The focus on balancing character and competence in every leader’s role and the unflinching commitment to understanding and aligning to principles. Not just the past 25+ years, but every generation, every culture, every civilization.
Seems with leadership, often the “how” changes. But rarely the “what” does.
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