Visiting Professor Pendleton Shares Insight on Effective Leaders

| November 29, 2012
David Pendleton, Webster University

Pendleton discussed his “Primary Coulors of Leadership” model, emphasizing overlapping organizational needs and leadership strengths.

A busy day of guest speakers at Webster University’s home campus began with David Pendleton, associate fellow at the Saïd Business School, Oxford University, as he spoke to community members and local business leaders on leadership theory.

“I’m very proud to be at Oxford, and I’m very proud to be here at Webster,” said Pendleton, who is a visiting professor in the Webster University George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology.


David Pendleton, Webster University

After his formal talk, Pendleton spoke with community members and business leaders.

In his work in occupational psychology and as chair of Edcumbe Consulting Group, Pendleton has worked with hundreds of organizations in financials services and transport, among other industries.

He encourages clients, as he encouraged his audience at Webster, to avoid thinking about leadership as a solo endeavor. In Thursday’s talk he discussed his trademarked “Primary Colours of Leadership,” an easily remembered model that emphasizes the overlapping areas of leadership in strategy, operations and interpersonal/team-building domains.

Pendleton stressed the need for leaders to work within their strengths and build teams that complement those — and compensate for weaknesses. “We should emphasize collective leadership like our lives depend on it,” he said. A leader must understand an organization’s needs, recognize his/her own strengths, and build leadership teams that can fill in the gaps in those strengths.

Why build teams that complement weaknesses? In Pendleton’s work, consultants examine eight areas of leadership skills. In their encounters with thousands of leaders, they’ve yet to meet a leader who is strong in all eight areas.

On what makes a good leader, Pendleton had a word of caution: Being smart is great, but research indicates personality is four times as important as intelligence in determining effective leaders: In short, employees will follow a brand but will leave a manager.

Pendleton has a 2011 book on these concepts, “Leadership: All You Need to Know.”

Category: Campus Snapshots, St. Louis Campus News

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