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??