Case Study – An Academic Institution

Cracking the Leadership Code

Business challenge
One of our clients in the university sector had been grappling with the question “What makes a great leader?” It’s a question that has challenged the minds of thousands of thinkers and has been the subject of literally tens of thousands of leadership studies, theories, frameworks, models, and recommended best practices. But this University was looking for clear, simple answers that could be applied to their environment, with their unique challenges and daily work lives. Whilst they didn’t want a generic template they could get from a textbook, they did want a rigorous, research-based model that would withstand scrutiny.

BreekThrough Strategies - Business Challenge

We supported the University in identifying and defining those leadership characteristics that described their current, successful leaders – including exploring real examples of situations of leadership, how they responded to difficult challenges, how they created success and what they learned from their failures. We then tested this model with the future challenges facing the University to create a contemporary, forward-thinking leadership model that would predict leadership success into the future.

This model was highly successful because of its authenticity – it was designed with input from well regarded leaders and drawn from real experiences, some folklore and challenges faced by the University. It was also practical, made sense, and according to the client “sounded like us”. The model is now used as a starting point for all key HR interventions including clarifying roles, recruitment and selection, induction, leadership assessment and development, performance management and reward strategies.


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