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How to Align Your Teams and Position Them for Great Results - Part Two


March 4th, 2014

- Updated on

March 8, 2017 - 10:15am
In part one of this two part blog series, we shared details of our work with leaders using the Everything  DiSC Work of Leaders (WOL) framework and assessment and we promised to share a second case study that also produced some important results for the participating team.  
According to the authors of “The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability,” 80% of employees feel inadequate when it comes to delivering results for which their leaders have told them they’re accountable.  So, it comes as no surprise to learn that only 47% of leaders report having a clear understanding of what building alignment means. (Straw et al The Work of Leaders.)

Work of leaders Case Study 2: An HR Team’s Aha Moment

An HR team with whom we had previously worked asked us to facilitate a follow up session. This “intact team” was particularly interested in how best to leverage its strengths and address its leadership challenges.  Prior to the session, members who had not taken the full DiSC WOL were asked to do so.  For those members who had previously completed their DiSC profile were given a supplementary questionnaire to obtain their WOL results.   
AJO’s facilitator and executive coach, Linda Bodnar, introduced the WOL Model (see graphic below) and the group created an aggregated version of their results to explore the team’s collective strengths and leadership challenges and how this might impact its work.  The group also identified its priorities using an “urgent/important” matrix.
Everything DiSC Work of Leaders Assessment
During the last part of the team session, the group identified five key opportunity areas to focus on and created action plans for successful team performance in the future.  They found that three of these five areas were strongly related to leadership competencies in which the group was collectively weak, based on the WOL (e.g., Boldness driver under Crafting a Vision and Clarity driver under Building Alignment). 
Without the WOL, they might have chosen different and less impactful areas for action planning and also might not have fully understood why the team was underperforming in these areas. The WOL session allowed the team to target its action plans by reflecting on needs identified through the WOL and then putting into place best practice leadership competencies to become a more highly effective team.

What We Learned:

AJO Executive Coach Linda BodnarLinda Bodnar, AJO’s facilitator, shared the following perspectives.  The DiSC Work of Leaders:
  • Works especially well with intact teams who come together for the specific purpose of strengthening working relationships and looking to enhance overall team performance.
  • Works especially well when everyone has leadership roles/responsibilities versus narrowly defined individual contributor roles.
  • Has right answers.  Unlike other assessments (including other DiSC profiles), the WOL does have right answers!  The WOL focuses on how your tendencies influence your effectiveness in specific leadership situations, rather than facilitating an understanding of differences between individuals.  In other words, the behaviors on the top end of each scale are leadership best practices.
As Linda explained, “It’s important for leaders to remain open when creating a vision. So while seeking closure may be important in certain leadership situations, it’s not when crafting a vision. The WOL helps leaders identify where they can leverage their natural strengths and where they may need to take a different approach as they take on the fundamental work of leaders – creating a Vision; building Alignment around that Vision and championing the Execution of the Vision”  

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