Establish Authentic Management Performance As the Context for Leadership Development

Management Performance Is the Context for Leadership 

If It Isn’t – What Is? 

The Context for Leadership – that is.

Context rules Content – doesn’t it? If it doesn’t – it should.

Relevancy is critically important criterion – but it’s only one of several ultimate criteria IMO. More on that later.


The Leadership Development models and resources you use – whether you build or buy – find for free or pay a fee – need to transfer to some Performance Context.

That’s the source for your understanding of the need … the Authentic Performance Context … before subjecting the Learners to stuff that may or may not relate to their real- world context … THEIR Performance Context.

Note to Curators: Context rules Content.

The Performance Context


What might be important is to first understand the Performance Contexts – yes, many contexts/situations – and which are alike across the Enterprise – and which are different.

The things “shared” and the things “unique.”

Your model may vary.

I use the organization chart to get my arms around all of the Processes of a department, which can be rolled up with other departments into a function.


Your model may vary.

Yours might roll up into a region, or a division, etc.

I take a Process View of the Performance Context – for both Managers/Leaders and Non-Managers.


The Core Areas of Performance (think: Major Duties, Key Results Areas, Accomplishments, etc., etc.) are what differentiates the Performance Contexts.

That’s what’s unique versus what’s shared. Shared being a continuum of shared totally and somewhat.

But unique is unique.

Only the enablers, the enabling knowledge and skills might apply across share-able and unique Performance Contexts.

Active Listening anyone? Word, PowerPoint and Excel anyone?

The enablers may be shared – but without their Context – it probably won’t transfer after generic training – on the enablers alone.

EPPA - Building Block View - Department

Oh, people may figure it out eventually (Informal Learning) but if that isn’t Effective Enough/ Efficient Enough soon enough – then that’s no good.

Time for some level of Formal Learning … starting with consideration of – Performance Support – instead of – or – in-addition to some designed Learning Event – whether a Structured OJT or Un-Structured OJT, or e self-paced reading or interactive module, or an in-sync or an a-sync group-paced webinar, or an face-to-face ILT session – or gasp – a blend of all or many.

If the Rewards and/or Risks are high.

Otherwise … maybe not. Maybe it’s best left to Informal Learning.

Context Capture

There are many ways to capture the Performance Context.

Your models may vary.

At the heart of mine is the Performance Model Chart – one “page” of data organized by Areas of Performance – AoPs.

Here is an example.


Who Decides What Performance Is Good or Not Good?

When thinking about measures – I believe it is important to get beyond just the Customer.

Oh yes, they are important.

But they are not the kings as presented in the mythology of some.


Test: Customer want to outsource what the Government forbids and punishes with significant jail and fines.

Who wins?

Who is the king?


Why that is important – is because it helps you better assess your as is state and helps steer you to a future state where you are meeting the Stakeholder Requirements – trading off what must be traded off – in the real world. A manager’s job – to do or to delegate – with sufficient explanation. And/or Training. And Reinforcement (spaced) using one or more of the many mechanisms – including text or email.

For Leaders. For Managers.

Process Enablers

Her is my adaptation of The Ishikawa Diagram and Gilbert’s BEM: Behavior Engineering Model.


Who puts the enablers in place?

What did Deming teach us about who is really Responsible when things don’t go as they should?



Poor Leaders being poor Managers.

Hard to be a great Leader when you are a poor Manager – unless you’ve got someone covering the Manager stuff for you.

Which is what great Leaders do IMO.

They get ‘er done. They go for Performance.

They clarify the goals – not always the means – and provide enough of the ideal enablers – to make it happen – as a team.

What’s it All About?

Performance Competence. That’s what it is all about.

Sorry Hokey Pokey fans.

Performance Competence – which is different than Competencies.

Which are generic enablers of Performance Competence – at best.


Performance Competence being an element of the overall Performance Context.

For individuals, teams, processes and organizations.

Your models may vary.

But that’s where you should focus, varied models or not.


Focus on the Performance Requirements – and Enable Them

PC at the Worker Work and Workplace levels

Besides Relevancy

Besides Relevancy, a critically important criterion, what are the others in my set of ultimate criteria?

For Content called Training, Learning, Performance Support, Knowledge Management – the ultimate criteria are – IMO:

  • Relevancy
  • Authenticity
  • Instructional/Information Design for retention and/or on-the-job use or recall

Your models may vary.

Here – in this 6 Pack – are the more recent, full articulations of my concepts, models, methods, tools and techniques.


Written for those wanting to move their Training/Learning function to one based on the Performance Requirements – before they add to their product and service offerings services more appropriately called Performance Improvement Consulting than Learning or Training.

See the resource tab for more “for free” resources and these and other resources “for a fee.”

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