How to Identify Development Opportunities (LSP-R Focus Activity 1)

“If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade”

– Tom Peters

Welcome to your LSP-R Focus Report! If you are reading this blog you’ve probably just completed SIGMA’s Leadership Skills Profile – Revised (LSP-R) and are ready to review your results. If you have not taken the LSP-R, you can take a FREE trial, or view a sample report in order to follow along with the instructions below.

In this series of blogs, we are going to walk you through the assessment, your results, and the report you should have automatically received upon completion. If you did not receive a report, please contact us.

To download the complete Step-by-Step Guide to the LSP-R Focus Report, click here.

A Brief Overview of Results

Before we get into the Focus Activities, we’d like to take a moment to show you your results. Turn to the Snapshot on pages 3-4. This is a summary of the scores you received on each of the 50 leadership competencies in SIGMA’s Leadership Competency Framework. Scores are ranked from highest to lowest, but lower scores do not necessarily indicate a lack of ability; they simply highlight competencies that may not come as naturally to you.

As you are scanning your results, take a look at your myZONE (highlighted in blue). These are your most immediate opportunities for development. MyZONE competencies are areas where you’ve already demonstrated some degree of skill, providing a strong foundation for development. In the following Focus Activities, we will prioritize these competencies and create a personalized development plan. Are you ready? Let’s get started.

Focus Activity 1: Identify Development Opportunities

The first activity in the LSP-R Focus Report is on page 5, after the snapshot of your results. This activity is intended to help you identify your top three development opportunities. We will use input from your colleagues, supervisors, and your own work experience to inform which three competencies you select. Those competencies will be called your “my3 competencies.”

Why Choose Just Three?

You may be wondering why we are narrowing down your myZONE competencies to just three. If they are all optimal development opportunities, shouldn’t we keep each and work our way through? The reality is that talent development takes time and working with too many opportunities can be overwhelming. You may spend 6 months to a year (or more) working on just one of these competencies. Therefore, selecting three based on your interests and the organization’s needs will be much more motivating than keeping all competencies and attempting to slough your way through.

Apart from negatively impacting motivation, setting too many goals also results in less success than when we just start with a few. Studies have shown that when it comes to setting goals, often less is more. According to research by psychologist Ray Baumeister and John Tierney, the average professional has 150 tasks to be done at any given time. That may explain why over 40% of to-do lists are never accomplished.[i]

At the end of the day, your myZONE competencies aren’t going anywhere. If you whiz through your priorities and are looking for the next step, you can repeat these activities with the remaining competencies and start a second phase of development.

The Benefit of 360 Degree Assessment

The my3 Focus Activity uses input from colleagues and supervisors in addition to your own experiences. Why use multiple sources? Using multiple sources for evaluation is called taking a “360 degree” approach (“360” for short). There are several benefits to both organizations and leaders when a 360 approach is taken

Benefits of 360 degree assessment:

  • Increased self-awareness through comparing ones’ own evaluation with the evaluation of others
  • Insight into a leader’s blind spots (and coverage via other sources)
  • A wholistic, balanced view informed by a variety of perspectives
  • Organizational level data that can also be used to drive decisions around broader leadership development, succession planning, and development budgets
  • Opportunity for team building and collaboration

How to Identify Development Opportunities

Now that we understand the importance of selecting your my3 competencies and using input from other sources, we’re ready to begin completing the Focus Activity.

Turn to page 5 in your LSP-R Focus Report and follow the steps below.

  1. Select your myFOCUS competencies. On the left-hand side, under myFOCUS COMPETENCIES, write down your myZONE competencies (you will find your myZONE competencies highlighted in blue on your snapshot on pg 3-4). You don’t have to use them all; you can determine your focus based on your interests and needs (that’s what makes your myFOCUS different from your myZONE). Choose at least 5 myFOCUS competencies.

  2. Get input from colleagues. After you’ve selected your myFOCUS competencies, get input from colleagues around which 3 are the most important. You can ask colleagues directly and keep a tally, or use second-hand data from feedback you’ve received in the past. We recommend you ask at least 3 colleagues. Once you’ve collected all your data, use the boxes under COLLEAGUES to mark the competencies that were verified as important.

  3. Next, get input from supervisors. Like colleagues, you can ask supervisors directly and keep a tally of which competencies they believe are most important, or you can use second-hand data from feedback you’ve received in the past. We recommend you ask at least 2 supervisors. Once you’ve collected your data, use the boxes under SUPERVISORS to mark the competencies that were verified as important.

  4. Finally, reflect on your experiences. Think of your work history, past success, and challenges. Think of the competencies you need or would benefit from most. Put a mark beside these under the column labelled EXPEREINCES.

  5. Evaluate. Tally up the stars for each competency and mark which three received the most. Put a star beside those three competencies in the final column on the right-hand side under the star. Then, write the competencies in the boxes in the bottom right-hand corner. These are your my3 competencies.

In Focus Activity 2, we are going to take it one step further and narrow your my3 competencies down to the most important one, your myFOCUS competency.

Looking for More?

If you would like help with your development plan, SIGMA is here for you! Give us a call if you need help interpreting your LSP-R results or creating your development plan. We are always happy to chat! We are also available as coaches if you do not have internal resources. Check out SIGMA’s group and individual coaching, and our Lunch and Learn series. If you have questions, contact us below! We would love to hear from you.

[i] Clark, D. (December 16, 2016). Don’t Set Too Many Goals for Yourself. HBR. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2016/12/dont-set-too-many-goals-for-yourself.