My work has led me to some conclusions related to learning and development that will help any organization seeking to position itself for future success:
1. Leadership is Everyone’s Job. It isn’t just for senior managers; it needs to be expected at every level. When every employee feels empowered to lead — whether that’s themselves, their team, or the enterprise — the organization clearly excels.
2. Top Down Modeling is key. When learning is introduced into an organization, executives at all levels needs to demonstrate the behaviors they expect of others. A surefire way to undermine leadership development is by introducing it only to a select employee population, such as mid-level managers. If employees who are receiving leadership development don’t see the behaviors they are learning reflected among their executive team, they lose motivation to grow and develop.
3. Reinforced, continuous training NOT one-day workshops. One day workshops feel great but they do not work as stand-alone events. What happens outside of the classroom is significantly more important than what happens in a classroom, which is why most one-day events are ineffective.
4. Training is not executed by consultants forever. The most effective organizations don’t rely upon consultants to do their training and development forever. They strive to be leader-led, which means that their managers walk the walk and talk the talk as it relates to leadership. Our goal is to set up our clients for success by equipping managers with the capability to train and develop within their organization so learning is more impactful and lasting.
5. Development is an investment not an expense. When training and development is treated like an expense, it's tactical — a communication course here, a coaching course there, and an executive offsite without any focused purpose. When learning is considered an investment, the result is a planned, intentional learning journey organizations can take together to align efforts and drive results.
These five points help in creating an effective leader development program. Today, we partner with businesses and organizations to help them build out their cultures so they can tackle the tough issues that have the potential to stall growth. Do you have questions? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, Download a FREE overview of The Leadership Challenge, the most recognized standard in leadership development.