Zenger Folkman + Ivy League School

Ivy League school implements strengths-based solution to maximize organizational efficiency.

The Challenge

When the economic recession hit, many organizations were faced with tough budget cuts. Universities were no exception. In light of the recession, the university’s endowment was cut, significantly restricting administrative budgets.

Administrators were faced with the difficult task of right-sizing the organization. Not surprisingly, employee engagement, morale, and satisfaction had decreased. The remaining employees needed to be more efficient in order to carry the additional load. Identifying leadership ability became crucial.

The Solution

The university implemented The Extraordinary Leader system with the administrative leaders of the university, including The Extraordinary Leader 360-degree assessment, a one-day Extraordinary Leader development workshop, and follow-up one-on-one coaching.

After eighteen months participants were invited to complete the 360-degree assessment a second time to evaluate their progress and what, if any, impact the program had on the university.

The Results

After completing a second Extraordinary Leader assessment, the variance in participants scores was analyzed. The results were as follows:

  • 95% improved in one or more leadership competencies
  • 64% showed significant improvement in their global leadership effectiveness

Administrators found that leaders whose leadership effectiveness scores improved had direct reports whose employee commitment scores had also significantly improved. In other words, direct reports who rated their leader’s skills high also had higher levels of job satisfaction.

The university was so pleased with the results of The Extraordinary Leader that it is now implementing the program at their faculty level as well.

About the Organization

This private US-based Ivy League research university is one of the oldest in the US. It is an elite research institution and rated one of the top universities in the world. The university has over 10,000 students, 1,000 faculty, and 3,000 academic staff.

What is the Organization saying about Zenger Folkman

The university’s top officials feel the key to successfully managing personnel challenges is to improve leadership effectiveness at all levels, They found that magnifying a leader’s strengths, following Zenger Folkman’s strength-based approach, was the most effective use of their resources:

“…the path to greatness is really about building profound strengths, rather than through relentlessly focusing on one’s weaknesses.”

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