Are your company’s management and leadership positions held by those best equipped to do the job? Productively allocating leadership positions is certainly not one of the easiest tasks you face, although the most suitable employee in the right position can be a boon to your profits and productivity. But how to go about finding the best person?

In many companies, the terms management and leadership are commonly used as synonyms although there is a fundamental difference between the two. The primary function of management is to direct systems, structures and processes. Leaders, however, work with, on and for people. A fitting metaphor: A manager builds the house in which a leader ensures that every employee finds his or her professional home.

Organizations regularly undergo transitional processes to secure their company’s long-term success. In a constantly changing globalized world, flexibility and adapting are musts. And these adaptations impact every level of your company, which requires outstanding management and leadership skills. By ensuring your management and leadership positions are held by the most suitable employees, you make a major contribution to a transition’s success on all levels of your company, generating a positive return on your investment.

Still, how can you determine whether key positions in your company are held by the appropriate employees? The D.R.E.A.M.-Score®[1] has proven to be a particularly useful instrument to analyze and compare your company’s leadership qualities. D.R.E.A.M is an acronym for Dedication, Responsibility, Education, Attitude and Motivation – the most desirable leadership attributes. So, how does the D.R.E.A.M.-Score® work? Similar to 360° feedback, the D.R.E.A.M.-Score® is attained through both a leader’s self-assessment and his or her employees’, superiors’ and colleagues’ external assessment. Ultimately, five levels of leadership competence are established: Learner, Prospective Manager, Manager, Leading Manager and D.R.E.A.M. Leader.

In 2016, throughout Europe, 500 leaders and their teams underwent a D.R.E.A.M.-Score® analysis. Results revealed that people holding leaderships positions rarely conceived of themselves as leaders. According to leaders’ own statements, they felt their positions were primarily filled with management functions, i.e. they were predominantly engaged in operative activities which left them little time to attend to what they were actually hired to do, namely lead. Examining the situation more closely, we see that the problem often lay in setting the proper priorities. In addition, the five-month study showed that, on an average, direct employee assessments gave their leaders a lower score than the leaders gave themselves.

Thus, here, it lies in your company’s interest to address two issues: On the one hand, how to give your leaders more space for their work on and with people, and, on the other hand, how to bring self-assessments and external assessments into harmony, thereby developing your managers into D.R.E.A.M leaders or at least into Leading Managers. Arguing over who’s more important, leaders or managers or vice versa is basically a waste of breath. There is nothing to compare. Both are vital to your company. Still, their responsibilities differ and should be carried out accordingly. When it comes to transitional processes, you need the skills of a D.R.E.A.M. Leader or Leading Manager, depending on the transition’s nature. Only a D.R.E.A.M. Leader or Leading Manager can successfully and consistently guide all those involved in your company’s transition to the other side of a necessary change.

Applying the D.R.E.A.M.-Score® you attain a clear analysis of your employees’ leadership behavior, of their strengths and weaknesses, giving you a solid basis for planning a given employee’s further career within your company. This, in turn, will help you capitalize on as yet untapped potential, placing the most suitable person in leading or managing positions.

[1] Developed by Liscia Consulting in 2016