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Leadership Report - Manager A

01 September 2016 - by Geoff Ribbens

The Leadership Pathway Audit™ is based on 60 different types of authority (legitimate, socially acceptable forms of power). Team members were asked 60 “forced choice” questions about how they perceive their manager.

The report classifies authority into 12 types, remember that this is the team member’s average perception. From the managers point of view this is how they are currently perceived and unlike “psychometric personality tests” the manager is at liberty to change this perception. They can change this perception usually with the help of a trainer or coach.

The twelve forms of authority are: 1.Position authority (job title or rank). 2. Authority based anxiety or fear. 3. Authority based on “over controlling” and 4. Authority based on supplying individual extrinsic rewards, as opposed to team bonuses (the manager is perceived as bribing team members). By themselves these four forms of authority can be de-motivating for team members but they must be compared with the other 8 forms of authority – social life is seldom black or white.

The manager’s authority might be based on 5. Their organisational skills (planning, organising and administering). 6. Their professional or technical skills. 7. Their business understanding skills. 8. Their perceived confidence to manage/lead.  These attributes are like hygiene factors because if the manager does not have some of them, they lack confidence for example, their authority will be weakened but scoring highly on some of them does not necessarily motivate or engage team members.

Authority based on the final four is likely to lead to employee engagement in the eyes of team members. 9. Motivators (the manager is perceived as supplying team members with a sense of achievement, recognition, responsibility and job interest). 10. The manager’s authority is based on their perceived desire to share, coach, train or mentor (this is rewarding in the eyes of team members). 11. The manager is perceived as an agent of change, forward looking, always looking for new ways to do things. 12. The manager’s authority is based on the team’s belief that they share the same vison, goals and values.

Manager “A”

Manager “A” works in a large bureaucratic organisation, they are perceived in the following way – The average scores are out of 10 (the range is also given in the final report).

  1. Position Authority 60%
  2. Fear 50% (coercive)
  3. Over controlling 80%
  4. Extrinsic rewards 20%
  5. Organisational skills 40%
  6. Professional/Technical skills 80%
  7. Business understanding skills 40%
  8. Confidence 40%
  9. Motivators 30%
  10. Training/mentoring 30%
  11. Agent of change 50%
  12. Shared Values 40%


Manager “A” works in a large bureaucracy and therefore it is not surprising that their authority is perceived as being based on their position in the organisations (item 1 score 60%). If this was the only authority they had then this is not a good basis for managing or leading or it could be that they were a new manager yet to make their mark. In a bureaucracy, position power may be the norm.

A score of 5 for “fear” (item 2 score 50%) is again not a good basis for managing, let alone leading, but in a bureaucracy stepping outside the lines of authority, going through the right channels does cause some anxiety for team members, a score of 5 is not high. There is little Manager “A” can do about their position authority and fear but these scores may be reduced by building up scores in other areas.

The team score Manger “A” high on “over controlling” (item 3 score 80%). An “over controlling” manager may be insecure, bureaucratic etc. In this case it could be that this manager has professional and technical expertise (item 6 score 80%) and that is why they over control. (They perceive themselves as the expert)

You will note that Manager “A” scores low on extrinsic individual rewards (item 4 score 20%) probably because in a bureaucracy there is often very little room for individual extrinsic rewards (more overtime, time off, individual financial bonuses etc).

The trainer or coach in discussion with Manager “A” may comment that “over controlling” is an area that could be changed. The trainer/coach might just ask the manager “why does the team think that they are over controlled?”

Manager “A” scored low for organisational skills (item 5 score 40%). This indicates that the team thinks their manager could improve on their planning, organising and administration. Perhaps the manager needs to manage their time more effectively. Poor organisational skills or more correctly the perception of poor organisational skills may be perceived as letting the team down. Training or coaching in this area would seem to be a good idea.

Manager “A” scores very high on professional and technical skills (item 6 score 80%). Under certain circumstances being a professional or technical expert is a good quality but it could explain why the team think they are “over controlled”. It could be that Manager “A” is keeping their expertise to themselves?

The team perceives Manager “A” as having low business understanding skills (item 7 score 40%). In discussion with the trainer/coach this is another area that needs to be explored. This manager may well understand the business and its context but they are not giving this impression to the team members.

The team does not perceive Manager “A” as having confidence (item 8 score 40%). The trainer/coach could explore this with the manager. It might be that the manager lacks confidence in the team itself or lacks confidence with their business understanding and perhaps this is the reason they over control? The trainer/coach might explore ways the manager might come across as more confident. Perhaps the manager building up their skills in the final four areas might help.

Manager “A”, when it comes to motivation (item 9 score 30%) needs to tackle this area. Motivation in based on Herzberg’s motivators and the ones covered are job interest, recognition, sense of achievement and responsibility. It is very likely that Manager “A” by being perceived as “over controlling” is actually de-motivating team members. An over controlling manager might be just telling team members what to do and not empowering them.

Manager “A” does not score high on training, coaching or mentoring (item 10. Score 30%). This low score corresponds with the manager over controlling and being a technical expert. The trainer/coach should explore with the manager how they can share their expertise and knowledge. It does not matter if the manager does not train or coach or mentor themselves, what matters is that someone in the team is doing it supported by the manager.

Manager “A” has a reasonable score for being an agent of change (item 11 score 50%) but what we know about this manager is that change might just encompass technical change because that is their expertise.

Finally Manager “A” when it comes to shared vision and values (item 12 score 40%) may actually have the same vision and values as team members but it is not coming across. Looking at the 12 point profile it could be that the manager is just seen as the technical expert who is not engaging or motivating employees.


The trainer/coach should go through the 12 items and explain what they mean but all the time ask Manager “A” why do they think the team, on average, came up with such scores. The trainer/coach should emphasise that these are perceptions that can be changed and what might Manager “A” want to change.

An important point to stress is that the Leadership Pathway Audit™ is based on the perception of team members and their perception is conditioned by their experience and expectations. In the case of Manager “A” the team expect the manager to “over control” so if the manager suddenly changes the team may well think that the manager has become weak. The coach should encourage the manager to discuss with the team about this aspect of their profile and say they want to change and empower the team more. The manager is asking for team member’s views, not out of weakness but because the manager wishes to change their style.

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