Transforming Leadership Performance - Breaking Comfort-Zone Barriers
The study assess if specific training conferred to remove blind spots in order for becoming aware of their respective comfort zones can improve leadership effectiveness. A questionnaire covering the five common parameters that gravitates leaders toward comfort zone operations were formulated namely a) routine and fixed ways to do things, b) avoidance of rapid change, c) territorial and silo operations, d) avoid exploring new challenges and e) avoiding high expectations. Two groups containing 33 top managers and 250 middle managers of a leading multi-national company in Malaysia were provided with the questionnaires. The leaders were evaluated on their current thinking, perception and practices in all these five areas. In both groups the training significantly showed improvement in terms of the reduction in the comfort zone seen in the five attributes. However the intervention showed a more significant effect in the middle management compared to the top management group for all of the five aspects. The intervention was found to be effective for three of the five aspects for the top management. The aspects are willing to move away from routine and fixed way of doing things, exploring new challenges and taking initiatives to meet higher expectations, however all five aspects were found to have effective improvements for the middle management groups. The study conclusively shows that leadership training has to be specifically focused to evaluate fixed outcomes such as the movement out of comfort zones.