Find Your Leadership Potential, Chart Your Course

By Dennis Rebelo, Ph.D., FEI Chief Learning Officer 

It’s no surprise that senior-level financial executives are critical thinkers, naturally gravitating toward technical and exacting ways of displaying data. However, when it comes to your career, that love of data can be a double-edged sword: It allows the financial executive to move effortlessly through spreadsheets or balance sheets, but it becomes problematic when it comes to expressing the “softer” skills needed to be a leader in today’s market.

At Financial Executives International we are embracing an alternative way to understand and measure your leadership skills that embraces the exacting use of data.

The Integral Psychological Profile (IPsP) helps financial leaders, aspiring leaders and team members to understand how eight key universal human competencies work in relation to their current and anticipated work roles. Unlike assessments that measure temperament only -- such as the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) -- the IPsP maps the relationship of these eight competencies to each other, creating psychological traits with a heavy reliance on data.  

By measuring whether each competency has a high, low or normative aptitude, leaders and team members gain insights into what natural tendencies drive their workplace behaviors. In addition, the IPsP can determine competencies that need to become part of a personalized development and learning plan.  

The IPsP assessment aligns and embraces a data-driven assessment with supporting charts, which allows the financial leader to convert the data into ways of self examination, evolving leadership practices and contributing to varying roles amid the complexity of the modern financial suite. Leaders and team members are immediately able to examine their primary and secondary charts that are part of the 24-page report and see how they are “showing up” in relationship to their work, personal relationships and how there are adjusting to “calls” to become re-oriented and work on competencies that may need further focus and development.  

Post assessment benefits may include better active listening, more confidence to exhibit leadership, heightened contextual awareness and more attunement to relational exchanges at work.  

Why is FEI focused on the IPsP over other leadership methods? In financial and technical accounting, change is driven from technology, regulatory agencies and organizational pressures. Accordingly, knowing “how to” become adaptable and “when” are valuable personal insights. Reliance on older assessments can be troubling; they were born when work was quite different. Work was once predictable, direct and mechanistic.

Today, the complexity of work and life requires a more integrated and evolved instrument for examining and self-leadership and relational leadership   The danger of slacking on developing interpersonal, self-leadership and relationship leadership skills can be fatalistic. Not only to one’s leadership goals, but to their workgroup effectiveness, team collaboration, operational cadence, sparking meaning-making work and impact a person’s potential contributions and identity.  

All work today requires some deep self-understanding, or as I call it “me-search.” This allows you to truly take stock of who you are from a competency standpoint, where you may to focus, and how you will be able to map a successful path.  

By examining and committing to self-knowledge, current and aspiring leaders can focus on the necessary skills by harnessing personalized learning, workplace engagement, and mentor what it means to be an adaptable, receptive, creative, exploratory, collaborative solution-oriented leader. As we develop the courses with our valued member in mind, I encourage you to reach out and share your thoughts.