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The Leadership Web: Strategies for Building World Class Leaders

The New York Times recently published an article on Google and its quest to “build a better boss.” Google’s quest to build its leadership skills is critical given Eagle’s Flight’s own findings that individual employee contribution can be 30 to 40% higher when working for a world-class leader.


Imagine! Simply by improving leadership skills, every one of your managers’ direct reports’ contribution can be increased by as much as 40%! That’s 40% more contribution for the same employee salary – every year, year after year. What an incredible boost to productivity.

The Google quest also highlights the fact that leadership is not in fact one skill but several. Google’s research identified “Eight Good Behaviors.” To be a world-class leader, one cannot just learn one or two behaviors and become proficient in those. One must be proficient in each one individually while having them working in harmony with one another.

Building a Leadership Web

Learning to be a world-class leader is like creating a magnificent spider’s web. It’s done one strand at a time and requires patience. Like a spider web, each leadership strand must also be interconnected and serve to reinforce the whole. At Eagle’s Flight, our approach to leadership development is an integrated one, linking together content from each learning module. For example, being a good coach and providing specific constructive feedback requires a leader be a good communicator in both listening and in sharing information.

World-class leadership qualities like Google’s “Eight Good Behaviors” must be taught in such a way as to work together in tandem with one another. Here’s how the eight behaviors link to Eagle’s Flight’s integrated approach to leadership development:


  1. Be a good coach: Outcome-based Leadership
  2. Empower your team and don’t micromanage: Leading an Empowered Workforce
  3. Express interest in team member’s success and personal well-being: Leader’s Triad
  4. Don’t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented: Leader’s Imperatives
  5. Be a good communicator and listen to your team: Insightment
  6. Help your employees with career development: Accelerating Performance
  7. Have a clear vision and strategy for the team: Executional Excellence
  8. Have key technical skills so you can help advise the team: Powering Team Performance

When Eagle’s Flight designs a world class leadership development initiative, we cover our clients’ most crucial competency areas first, and then, as the strands of the web are developed over time, we link the leadership competencies together to reinforce the nature and importance of an integrated web.

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