Patent Granted for Leadership Versatility Index 360

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<p><b>Greensboro, N.C. &mdash; Feb. 21</b><br/>In an unusual human resources development, leadership-consulting firm Kaplan DeVries Inc. has been awarded a patent for their 360 feedback tool, the Leadership Versatility Index (LVI).</p> <p>The patent was awarded because no other leadership development tool uses pairs of opposite leadership behaviors (such as &ldquo;Takes Charge&rdquo; versus &ldquo;Empowers&rdquo;) and also assesses versatility and &ldquo;lopsidedness&rdquo; among the pairs. </p><p>Through decade-long statistical research and first-hand use of the tool in executive development, the inventor-designers, Robert E. Kaplan, Ph.D., and Rob Kaiser of Kaplan Devries Inc., determined the instrument detects &ldquo;lopsided&rdquo; leadership.</p> <p>Extreme lopsidedness is a major cause of career derailment and undermines talent management for many organizations. </p><p>In fact, Kaiser and Kaplan&#39;s statistical research indicates that versatility &mdash; having a well-rounded repertoire &mdash; accounts for half of what separates the most highly regarded leaders from the least well-regarded leaders. </p><p>Kaplan and Kaiser&rsquo;s 2006 book, &quot;The Versatile Leader: Make The Most Of Your Strengths &mdash; Without Overdoing It,&quot; describes their concept and research in detail. </p><p>They found executives who avoid overusing their strengths, and who strengthen their weaker &ldquo;muscles&rdquo; so they can lead in a wide variety of situations, have higher employee morale and overall better business outcomes than those who rely on a single strength. </p><p>&ldquo;There is a central human tendency to rely too heavily on our strengths,&rdquo; Kaplan said. &ldquo;In leaders, this often creates blind spots that lead to complete career derailment. The problem is expensive in both business and human terms.&rdquo;</p> <p>Kaplan said this problem has become more pronounced in the current leadership environment, in which &ldquo;sensing&rdquo; skills are critical to making fast adjustments. </p><p>He points to the business world described in Thomas L. Friedman&rsquo;s book, &quot;The World is Flat.&quot;</p><p> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a world that demands constant adjustment and does not tolerate leaders who are unable or unwilling to build up their weak muscles &mdash; or who overuse their strong muscles,&rdquo; he said. </p>

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