Monday, January 28, 2013

Inherent Leader Risks:  Men vs. Women 

Interestingly, the overall leadership characteristics as measured by our CDR Leadership Character Assessment between male and women leaders are remarkably similar which means that both sexes are quite capable of leader posts at the highest levels. 

However, we found some statistically significant differences in comparing data of male and female leaders with the CDR Leadership Risk Assessment instrument.  What we found was that under pressure or conflict, women leaders tended to default to a “Worrier” mode while their male leader counterparts tended to exhibit traits as “Egotists, Upstagers & Rule Breakers.”  Bottom line, under adversity and conflict, the averages showed many women leaders dig in, over-analyze and re-review which moves them away from the pressure while the men leaders fight and stand their ground, albeit in forceful and overly aggressive ways.   

So, under duress and conflict, many of the women are not perceived as “fighters” or as courageous because they do not go into fight mode as frequently as the male leaders do.  This, obviously, has some impact on perceptions of who is most capable.

However, most stunning is that false perceptions and erroneous stereotypes hurt women leaders far more than men.  Below are two examples of what we found:

Example #1

Respondents say that women (85%), not men (5%), are the more EMOTIONAL sex (Pew Leadership Research Survey, Aug 25, 2008)

What the CDR Assessment profile data results says:

CDR Scale Title
Women Leaders
Averaged Score
Men Leaders
Averaged Scores
What does this mean?
•        There are no significant differences between the “emotionality” of men and women. 
•        How “emotionality” is expressed varies. 
•        How “emotionality” is judged or perceived is frequently based on gender bias.
•        For women, emotionality is often confused with Interpersonal Sensitivity or Nurturing/Caring and Relationship Building capability.
•        Emotionality of male leaders is often associated with anger, impatience, etc. and is considered within accepted norms.  Secondly, men are more likely to hide “emotionality” better.


Example #2

Respondents rate women as more MANIPULATIVE than men by 52 to 26 percent.    (Pew Survey, 2008)
What the CDR Assessment profile data results says:

CDR Scale Title
Women Leaders
Averaged Score
Men Leaders
Averaged Scores
False Advocate   
Rule Breaker
What does this mean?
•        False Advocate is higher for women leaders so there will be more inclination to complain behind the scenes; can manifest as the “martyr” or victim syndrome.
•        Men leaders may manipulate or “jockey for position” in bolder ways due to Rule Breaking and Inquisitive scores
•        However, the drastic 52 to 26% different rating in the Pew Survey is not supported by the CDR data and is perhaps exaggerated by biased perceptions.

 CDR Assessment Study:  Men Leaders N=120; Women Leaders N=111; samples of leaders from 26 Companies

We have more representative data showing that it is the unconscious bias holding women back far more than performance or capability.  It is time to begin communicating and challenging how people think about shared traits of men and women.  I'd be glad to send you a chart from my presentation given at an ASTD and WBCS conferences titled:  “Risk Factors that Impact Women in Leadership” that illustrates the damaging, yet different perceptions that often stem from the same leadership risk behavior.  

For aspiring women leaders, great performance alone won’t likely get you there. 

Gayle -- thanks for posting on this critically important leadership dilemma on LinkedIn.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Leaders as "Actors" -- Not really...

Are You a Great Leader? Only If You're a Great Actor | LinkedIn by Jeff Haden

  (link to article follows)

Jeff is correct that the best leaders to promote their organizations and inspire others have dynamic oratory skills.  However, we don't see this as acting and you cannot train everyone to be good at these skill sets.  If you must act, you won't be good at it.  What Jeff describes as "acting" are actual Character traits (we measure) of high Sociability including charm, charisma, attention seeking (and comfort), and story telling.  If one has these leader traits, they will have natural selling skills and typically gifted at connecting with others and captivating their interest.  

Where CDR differs -- is that a leader with such innate skills or gifts is not an actor -- this leader is authentic.   Trying to teach people who score low on Sociability, Exhibitionist, and Entertaining, Presentation Confidence scales/subscales to be a great speaker, story teller, charming and charismatic is like spitting in the wind.    Don't spit in the wind - it's messy.

Learn more about our Authentic Leadership coaching and workshops to bring out your best capabilities and "acting" skills.

Nancy Parsons

For Jeff's article post, go to:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

CDR COACHES' CERTIFICATION WORKSHOP                        FEB 27 & 28

CDR Coaches' Certification scheduled for February 27 & 28 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Increase your coaching and talent development capabilities and toolbox by gaining new skills to improve your practice and client results.  Internal and external coaches are welcomed to join us.  Be sure to enroll early to schedule your own coaching feedback session right away!

Certification includes:

1) Pre-work -- participants take the CDR 3-D Suite (includes CDR Character,  Leader Risks, and Drivers & Rewards Assessments) and have their own confidential coaching feedback session prior to the workshop (this is a 2.5 hour session)

2) Attend two-day workshop.  Session includes manuals, case studies, and experiential learning with two instructors.  Breakfast and lunch provided each day.

3) Post workshop -- participants are provided with a complimentary CDR 3-D Suite to use with their initial practice session.  Prior to the session, participants review their plans for coaching with an instructor.

Optional:  Monitoring of the initial coaching session is available for enhanced learning and feedback from instructor.


  • Reseller Discounts Available
  • Opportunity to be considered to serve as executive coach on CDR projects for independent consultants - monitoring session is required of potential CDR Coaches.
  • Promotional package available to help coaches' market their services using CDR Assessments.
  • 90 Days of telephone support at no charge for questions, brainstorming and review.*

Fee for Certification:  $3500

For more information, contact or call 918.488.0722.

*some limitations apply.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Are your budgets tight this year?   Stay tuned -- CDR will be announcing a sale later this week on the CDR 3-D Suite and on the 360 Leader Scan through March 31, 2013.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Selection Screening Workshop using CDR Assessments is scheduled for January 22 & 23 in Tulsa.

If you have ever suffered through a bad hire -- this workshop is for you!  By incorporating CDR Assessments into your hiring and promotional processes -- you can avoid making common mistakes and find the "best fit" candidates for your jobs.  Here are some client benefits from using our tools:

  • Reduced turnover by more than 50%
  • Accident rate reduction of 75%
  • Improved production from 54% to 97%
  • Decrease in lost time for injuries of 20% and a decrease in the cost per claim of 57% 

Participants will learn how to gain a clearer understanding of identifying key job requirements, learn how to interpret assessment results, understand the elements of a more effective and cost efficient hiring process, and will be provided with a wealth of interview questions based on specific assessment results.  

Contact Janice Greco at 918-488-0722 or to register.   This workshop is a real deal at only $600 -- so be sure to register now!  One hiring mistake can cost companies two to three times the annual salary -- so don't miss this opportunity to improve your ROI on your hiring decisions.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In memory and tribute to a great American leader:

"Leadership is a combination of strategy and character.  If you must be without one, be without the strategy."

                                                              General Schwarzkopf