The Big 8 + The 7 Saving Graces = 15 skills for a long and successful career
In the recent Korn/Ferry Institute Proof Point article “The Big 8 Skills Give Lift to Rare-air Executives” I presented some research findings on The Big 8 competencies. The Big 8 are rare and hard to develop, but individuals who show strength in at four or more of the eight gain a distinct advantage in leadership effectiveness.
There also can be a downside. Our research also revealed that these same people have a greater likelihood of being perceived as exhibiting “Career Stallers and Stopper” behaviors. These are the flipside of the mission-critical competencies that contribute positively to performance. If they are not addressed, they will gradually (or sometimes quickly) result in stubborn performance problems.
Simply put, the same bold strategic thinking and captivating influence that propel individuals high in the Big 8 to impressive achievements can also be the seed of similarly outsize mistakes and failures. Fly high, land hard would seem to be the rule of thumb when you look at how these individuals are likely to perform over time.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Enter the 7 Saving Graces. These are an equally valuable set of skills that can provide an important buffer to the noise sometimes caused a strong dose of the Big 8. The 7 Saving Graces are:
· Boss Relationships
· Integrity and Trust
· Interpersonal Savvy
· Understanding Others
Collectively, these competencies are essential for maintaining strong and healthy relationships and for smoothing over rough situations. Their presence tends to promote longer tenure and less risk of being tripped up by Stallers and Stoppers. They provide the perfect antidote to hard-driving strengths such as Innovation Management and Managing Vision and Purpose that could otherwise go into overdrive and cause problems.
For more detailed information on the 7 Saving Graces, check out another Korn/Ferry Institute article entitled “The Seven Saving Graces for Managers”.
So go out there and devote the hard work and discipline needed to successfully develop and apply the Big 8 competencies. But at the same time, make sure to soften the rough edges that often accompany the hard-charging, high-impact Big 8 with the more high-touch and nuanced approach conveyed by the 7 Saving Graces.