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Connected Leadership: Engaging for Performance, A Case Study at Excelitas

Waterford, Inc. is a Preferred Partner with the Six Seconds Network, a community of changemakers contributing to a world of insight, connection, and purpose.

Here we share a recent article from the Six Seconds blog that highlights how to build our strengths on the "people side" of leadership. When we combine "technical skills" -- the steps for creating a sustainability program within an organization, or the engineering criteria for building a smart meter, for example -- with "people skills," we're more effective as leaders.

Note from Beth: Please note that LVS is Leadership Vital Signs, a tool used for accelerating change and strengthening leadership.

"Developing leadership to improve relationships and accelerate change is a key goal in many organizations, so what’s the secret that helped 73% of leaders in this global tech company measurably improve?

Excelitas is a global technology company with R&D and 19 manufacturing facilities around the world. To improve performance, the company set out to strengthen the leadership skills that would improve workplace climate to strengthen employee engagement. Recognizing that emotional intelligence would be a valuable ingredient in this initiative, company partnered with Six Seconds to develop a program measurably improve leadership. This case study reviews outcomes of the program and key ingredients that the company used to create this success.

Utilizing a normed, multi-rater leadership assessment and blended, collaborative learning, the program emphasized open communication, coaching, and connection to help participants develop a personal vision of leadership. The result: 73% of program participants showed measurable improvements in a wide variety of key leadership attributes.

This case study examines the Excelitas Connected Leadership Program (CLP), an initiative focused on the “people side” of leadership. Excelitas is a leader in delivering innovative, high-performance, market-driven photonic solutions to meet the lighting, detection and optical technology needs of global customers. What key ingredients would leaders in this highly technical organization need to improve performance? It turns out emotional intelligence is one of the essential ingredients.

As shown above, the program followed three phases. The design is based on The Change MAP, Six Seconds action learning process.


Vital Signs is Six Seconds’ organizational model and integrated suite of statistically-validated assessments that capture key information about the people side of performance


Guided by Six Seconds’ design principles, CLP was created as a project-based learning experience with real-world application. Where many corporate leadership programs offer an “assorted menu of leadership content,” CLP was designed as an integrated whole where participants would identify a specific leadership goal in the first phase. Then, they developed new tools to apply to their goal, and were supported to create positive change.

Assessing Progress

The case study includes data from approximately 50 CLP participants in each of three global regions.

  • In Phase I, participants completed the Six Seconds “Leadership Vital Signs” multi-rater assessment and were coached to define a goal.

  • Phase II was a three-day leadership program involving in-class collaborative learning around the five drivers in the Vital Signs (shown in blue to the right).

  • Phase III focused on applying insights and then completing the follow-up LVS assessment.

The LVS assessment is based on the Vital Signs model that describes the five key drivers of performance and four leadership outcomes in different domains, as shown in Figure 1:

Figure 1. LVS Model with Domains, Drivers (blue), and Leadership Outcomes (green)

Participants took LVS themselves, and received both numerical scores and narrative feedback from “raters” including their supervisor, peers, and direct reports. This wholistic feedback helped the participants gain a clearer picture of the effectiveness of their leadership. The LVS was debriefed by HR/learning team members who became certified Vital Signs assessors. In this coaching process, participants constructed a personal leadership vision and development plan.

The multi-rater assessment was repeated in approximately 9-10 months to measure progress. Knowing that the re-assessment was coming encouraged participants to execute on the plans they made in the training." Read the rest of the case study

See the data (pre- and post-test) and results for the Excelitas case study

Download the full case study report + slides

#Excelitas #SixSeconds #LeadershipDevelopment #CaseStudy #EmotionalIntelligence #EQ

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