Changing Behavior Craig Haptonstall December 2013

Changing Behavior - Making an Impact

Behavior change is one of the most difficult and challenging endeavors any of us ever takes on, yet this is precisely what the Technology Group of an international oilfield services company has accomplished.  This 650+ employee group is comprised primarily of the engineers, technicians, and scientists responsible for creating technologies and tools used in exploring for and producing oil and gas.


Realizing the importance of effective leadership behavior in affecting performance, the company engaged Leadership Mechanics to work with the Technology Group and implement a 10-month-long development strategy—using The Leadership Challenge as a foundation.  Beginning with all those at the director level, we eventually engaged managers, supervisors, and high potentials as well.  


Initially, we used the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) to establish a behavioral benchmark.  Using these baseline LPI indications, each participant in the program then set about developing specific actions and personal development plans that would guide them in improving their effectiveness as leaders. In addition, we also incorporated other leadership development tools and strategy components, including personality typing using the MBTI® assessment and conflict resolution communications skills training. 


At the 10-month mark, positive results were achieved in each of The Five Practices—between 10 to 20 percent! Elevated leadership levels have been documented within the entire group, which has inspired them to begin working toward a complete leadership culture change. In addition to continuing to develop current and future leaders, the group is now using The Leadership Challenge with individual contributors. The goal is to begin to develop a common leadership language that will, ultimately, create a better communication bridge between leaders and their teams. And because frontline employees know and understand The Leadership Challenge, at least at a basic level, leaders will be able to make an even bigger impact.  Plus, these individual contributors are learning how they, too, can develop their own leadership thumbprint.


The remarkable results this company’s Technology Group realized are a tribute to participants’ hard work and perseverance, using The Leadership Challenge and the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) as primary development tools. 


Craig Haptonstall is president and CEO of Leadership Mechanics LLC and a Certified Master of The Leadership Challenge® Workshop. An experienced and results–oriented speaker and coach whose corporate career has included positions with Southwest Airlines and The Tom Peters Company, he can be reached at .


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