top of page

World Class Leadership Improvement Guide

My Personal World Class Leadership Improvement Plan

My Sphere of Influence.

If you are an elected leader or the CEO of a company your sphere of influence is large.  Others might see their influence limited by their job description or position, by the size of their one person business or by other the constraints.  The truth is we all have a combination of formal influence and informal influence. 

Formal influence can be the people in your company or department that you individually supervise or the employees of your own company.  You can also influence customers directly that you interact with- these can be internal customers such as your boss or a sister department that uses your work product. When you interact directly with the external customers you or your firm delivers a product or service to, you have the opportunity to influence them by demonstrating World Class Leadership behaviors. 

Informal influence is the influence you exert by participating with others at work or in your industrial community, by demonstrating World Class standards and acting as an example.  Your consistent World Class level of performance will be the yardstick which your fellow employees or even your competitors measure themselves against. 


Since all relationships at some level, are customer-supplier relationships, it will help to map these relationships and the environment in which you have the opportunity to demonstrate World Class Leadership.


Take a moment to map your sphere of influence.


How to use your World Class Leadership Sphere of Influence Chart


Directions: This tool is designed for you to get an overall picture of:

a) Your closest relationships or those that you have an ongoing  customer-supplier relationship with, typically employees or coworkers, bosses or supervisors, constituents or key long term customers


b) Temporary relationships- perhaps those with external customers of your product or service which are more transactional or short lived, 


c) Relationships with groups, associations or networks you are involved with or regularly exposed to, and


d) Vendors and suppliers and others who might be part of your supply chain


Ideally, you might want to have several 'Sphere of Influence' charts.  One for your business or professional relationships, one for your personal and family relationships, or perhaps even one solely dedicated to the range of external customers or accounts you manage. This tool is flexible and there are few rules except to understand that its purpose is to help you understand how you are impacting and influencing the environment around you.  There is no requirement to fill in all of the circles- add more if you need them.

You can save and print this document to use

1. Identify your closest relationships.

Perhaps these are bosses or supervisors, board members or department heads if you are a CEO, technical or functional partners or just those you depend upon or work closest with on a frequent basis.  Fill their names in the closest circles next to the center which represents you.


2.  Add others in the appropriate circles further away from the center as you see their relationship with you. 

Perhaps one of your goals will be to move some of these relationships closer to the center over time.  Feel free to add additional circles where needed.


3. The circles with the dotted lines represent temporary relationships. 

These are mostly used to represent individual client contracts important to you, but which are short term by their nature. (If you have a steady flow of different groups of customers for different product lines, this relationship should be in a solid circle, since for you it continues).  These relationships might be particularly important for you to give specific attention to now (even though maintaining long term customer relationships is a goal and outcome of WCL practices, not all customer relationships will be repeatable or have longevity) . 


4. Add associations, groups, or infrequent communities which you interact with on the peripheral circles of the chart.

These might be your professional association, regulators, volunteer project teams, study groups, chambers etc.


5. Add more data by writing in the one value that you need to work on the most with that particular relationship.

This will give you a continuous reminder of what to focus on for results or change.  You might see patterns emerging with the same types of shortfalls in many relationships- good information for you. You’ll want to keep this particular chart in a private place.

6. Now for the work.

Complete a relationship profile form on each of the relationships you have listed, starting with the closest or most important and working outwards.    Put the current relationship mean score in the circle along with each person's name as you complete it.

Here's an example of a relationship profile.  With what you have learned about World Class Leadership, rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 again for each of the the ten values of excellence- as it applies to this particular relationship. Think of the other person as a customer and rate yourself honestly - "How can I deliver higher Quality?  Value? Etc.. as you think about your interactions with this relationship.


As you review each of the values of excellence designate which are your strongest and your weakest in this relationship. Take some time to brainstorm ideas and actions you can take to improve in area- especially the low ones indicated. 


After calculating an overall score for the relationship - write it in the circle on your sphere of influence chart.


To connect this process to tangible reality and the benefits you can experience from improving it, answer the six questions on the second half of the form.  

Print as many relationship profile forms as you need with this .pdf form. 

Your Sphere of Influence Chart may end up looking something like this. Don't worry if it's not fancy - it is solely for your own information and perspective.  Look for themes and patterns as you look at this set of relationships as a whole. 

Now that you have an idea of where you are operating as a leader, and who your relationships are - let's take a look at some of the fundamentals from your Self Assessment:

World Class Leadership Personal Improvement Plan Overall

My vision for myself as a World Class Leader (describe what you will look like, how others will react to you, what you will achieve etc.):



The benefits of implementing a high level of World Class Leadership in my personal and professional life are:



My strongest World Class Leadership Values overall are:



Actions I can take to increase my WCL strengths even more include:




My weakest World Class Leadership Values overall are:




Actions I can take to improve my WCL weaker areas include:




Customer Relationships

List you most important five customer relationships (individuals or groups) in order of your own priority, significance or impact.  List their WCL mean score from the Relationship Profile Form.


Describe what you might need to do to make sure the relationship will survive.



Describe what you might need to do to maintain the relationship in the range of present satisfaction levels (plus or minus .50 mean score).




Describe what you might need to do for this relationship to evolve to a positive level of satisfaction (7.9 or higher) or grow towards World Class (9.24 or higher!)




Describe how you will recognize and measure positive growth in the relationship.




What other steps can you take to develop yourself as a World Class Leader?  (Training and education, reading, seminars, find a mentor, research, try something new, etc.?)




What will you do to make sure that you maintain/schedule a continuous proactive effort in developing yourself with World Class Leadership? 

Leading A World Class Leadership Culture

You can only lead others where you yourself are prepared to go.” 

-- Lachlan McLean


You understand what World Class Leadership means.  You have the opportunity to influence others as a business owner, manager, supervisor, department specialist, front line employee, CEO, small business owner, homemaker, elected official, government functionary or volunteer in a non-profit organization.  Making a World Class Leadership Impact across organizational cultures and the environments in which you function means addressing:

1) Processes and Systems

2) People- Communication, Training, Empowerment, Teamwork

3) Relationships with Customers

4) Your Individual Commitment To Demonstrating World Class Leadership.

bottom of page