Congrats on your new job!! Now you’re a leader!!

Of all the topics in the “blogosphere”, Leadership LEADS all comers in terms of self-development text, opinion and ideas – so we thought we would add our views to the mix!

We are often asked – what does your leadership program cover, too which we struggle to give definitive answers… Why – because EACH and EVERY organisations’ requirements of their leaders as so very diverse – one size should not fit all! Is there are core set of attributes? Probably! Are they applied in every leadership position the same?? Absolutely not!

That said, any good leadership program or investment is in our view, the best way of future proofing your success. There are however, some VERY big mistakes in our opinion, made by businesses big and small. We find it interesting that some of the elite sporting organisations (or groups within them) are in some cases, further in front in the development of leaders than are multi national corporate organisations. Clearly, they see the need – so what are some of the pit falls of leadership investment?

First mistake – NO LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AT ALL!! The reality is, long terms success is genuinely at risk here.

The second mistake – waiting until employees are promoted to leadership roles to develop their leadership skills. You need to provide development opportunities BEFORE people make it to leadership positions. This makes the transition into a leadership position so much easier for leaders and the team they lead. GET THEM READY to lead BEFORE they get there.

To do this suggests a talent pool needs to be identified, recognised and supported! Why? Doesn’t that get others off side?

Perhaps, but more often than not it becomes a driver of behaviour and performance to strive to be included in that talent pool.

This also means that you need to identify a set of “qualifying attributes or KPIs for inclusion in this group. It requires investment, it requires a leap of faith and protects the integrity of the offering, making it crystal clear the type of behaviours and/or performance the business sees as “great”.

The program should also be tailored around the skill areas the aspiring leaders need – not a one size fits all approach to generic programs.

The third common mistake, is assuming those in leadership positions no longer need development in this area… WRONG!!! Your business outputs are a reflection of they way your team are led. Invest in them, extend them, challenge them. And it doesn’t need to be a face to face facilitated program…project work, executive one on one coaching, signature projects… these are ALL ways of extending the capability of your current leadership crop.

How many development programs/projects have your senior exec been involved in recently? And what if they left? Who will fill the void? Again – future proofing is the key!

Last but not least, leadership is not a box ticking exercise. You can’t read a book and be a leader. You can’t attend a course and be a leader. Leadership programs must include a blended mix of learning, from face to face facilitated learning (the traditional “I’m going on a leadership program”) through to on the job projects, 360 feedback, challenges, goal setting and re-alignment all based on the leadership context for the group.

Think of it as BEFORE, DURING and AFTER in terms of your businesses’ approach to leadership.. you’ll be surprised at the impact it can have on morale, staff retention and succession planning.

What are your thoughts??

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Greart article guys, I love the highlight of the second mistake which is essentially why we have been working with Front & Centre for the past two years on our Emerging Leadres program. Looking forward to your next blog.

  2. Interesting read. Thanks guys.
    Came across the following quote in my travels ‘The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.’ —Warren Bennis
    Keep up the good work.

    • Great quote!

  3. Very interesting…. It’s so true that those in leadership positions tend to spend the least amount of time developing themselves- yet the impact they have on an organisation is so huge!

  4. Thanks for a fascinating read, staffing / leadership is always a challenge for a small business. I’ll be recommending that others from our buying group read this. Often leadership articles only relate to large corporations but this is relevant to all businesses. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Pleasure – for small organisations it really needs to be a cross functional approach!

  5. Transparency of expectations is essential in all areas of professional development. When a person understands what is expected in their role, they can choose to either meet or exceed the expectations of their current role. If they exceed the expectations, the recognition they receive should reflect their career aspirations. There is no point offering someone development for a leadership position if they have no desire for it. Transparency of expectations is also vital for people to understand how to create a development plan that is ‘alive’ . Understanding what the next role requires, feeds motivation, drive and focus to achieve. I agree that a multi faceted develpoment plan is the most impactful.
    I enjoyed reading the article, the continuos development mindset is a winning one!

    • I agree Rachel – the leadership “opportunity” should be one driven by the individual themselves. How many times have you seen leadership roles offered to those who take them begrudgingly and it ends in tears. Someone great at their role doesn’t mean they’ll be great with leadership responsibility. The desire to do it is entry point 1! If someone doesn’t want to do it.. then that is ok too!!

  6. Good article and comments also. It is certainly one area of performance reviews and training that is often over looked. A great technical expert does not always make a great “leader” and the transition from technical expert to leader is a gradual which requires a toolkit. Working in a large multinational corporation it has only been over the last 5 or so year that we have a focussed “Leadership” set of training such as the one F&C provide. I find using the 360 feedback tool, which we suggest our supervisors and managers use every 2 years or so, a great tool as it gives you the truth – particularly as its anonymous!

  7. Great article.

  8. Spot on article ! You guys have helped me enormously in this field. loving the fresh new website.
    JK

  9. Great Article! So many key points here that many organisations tend to miss. Culture and team morale are such an important part of any business’ success or failure and a multifaceted leadsership program for all levels in business can be such an integral way to champion a positive, successful culture throughout an organisation
    You have highlighted many great points in this article and I thouroughly enjoyed reading it!

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