The Dynamic Leader Inventory is an exciting resource that helps identify and develop the 7 key characteristics of an effective leader. The revised Dynamic Leader Inventory (DLI) is designed to assess how an individual behaves in their leadership role with their team. It provides a measure of the extent to which an individual provides ‘dynamic leadership’, self-assessing the frequency with which each of 49 leadership behaviours are used. This produces scores on seven facets of dynamic leadership, as well as an overall score. Scores are compared with those of others and a standardised score produced.
By completing the self-scoring Inventory, leaders will discover how well they rate on each characteristic. They then create a personal profile that provides clarity about their leadership strengths and weaknesses. This forms the basis for a structured leadership development plan.
The 7 key characteristics of an effective leader:
• Vision: communicating a clear and compelling vision
• Source: being tuned into the source of the vision, using ‘kaleidoscope’ thinking
• Macro: or organisational issues
• Interpersonal: relationship issues about visibility, listenining, involving and developing staff
• Traits: personal qualities, particularly self-confidence, persistence, perseverance and consistency
• Task: the organisation and implementation of tasks
• Creativity: coming up with novel and well thought through ideas.
The revised DLI also also includes a 16-item measure of the individual’s leadership role and situation. Extensive research carried out by the authors is used to establish what is most likely to be an effective pattern of leadership behaviour for the individual, given their particular circumstances. Individuals compare their behaviour with that of others in similar contexts that have been independently assessed as effective. They use this information to explore how they might change their behaviour and develop to improve their leadership effectiveness.
Dynamic Leadership builds upon and extends earlier thinking on leadership and offers a fresh way of understanding about leadership. Dynamic Leadership is appropriate to a changing world, in which organisations grapple with developments like globalisation and the information revolution.
The concept of the ‘dynamic leader’ is an integral part of the ‘visionary’ or ‘transformative’ theory of leadership. It is called ‘visionary’ because it asserts that the key function of leadership is to communicate a compelling vision, or picture of where the organisation is going. The term ‘transformative’ is used to emphasise how, by having a clear and attractive picture of the future, people transform thought into reality, and intention into action. People are energised or empowered because they have a sense of purpose and a belief in their ability to achieve their purpose. The term ‘dynamic’ is used because it draws attention to both the style of leadership and the changing conditions in which it thrives.
The ‘dynamic leader’ is aware of the way in which people are intrinsically motivated, rather than responding to external pressures. He or she is proactive rather than reactive, radical rather than conservative, open to new ideas and innovative. This produces enthusiastic commitment rather than reluctant compliance from staff and is particularly important during periods of change. The ‘dynamic leader’ creates a compelling picture of potential opportunities and instills commitment to change.
Visionary theories have helped to clarify the distinction between ‘management’ and ‘leadership’. These are seen as distinctive and complementary systems of action, each with its own function and characteristic activities. In simple terms, ‘management’ is about coping with complexity, while ‘leadership’ is about coping with change.