So, does your organization have a leadership development program? Too often, businesses put people in management roles with little or no training and support. I was surprised in 2008 when I began facilitating leadership training by how often new managers were promoted and thrown into the pool’s deep end. I shouldn’t be surprised that this continues today. This is a formula for failure.
What Makes a Good Leader?
There seems to be some confusion between leadership and management. I could be trite and list the definitions of both, but you can do that as well as I can. For me, the difference is simple. You manage projects and lead people. I remember having lunch with a young employee who, filling a void in a department, had assumed a leadership role. Although he had the approval to train, critique, and plan – he hadn’t been given a title or formally introduced as a manager. He didn’t need it because he was a leader. He was already helping everyone in the department, always willing to help, never self-serving, and those he worked with knew he had their best interest at heart. This person was a leader – he didn’t need the title. He needed support through training and leadership best practices.
How Do You Identify Leaders?
In a discussion on Facebook, I discovered people had various perceptions of leadership. Leadership has become synonymous with “good” leadership, but that’s not the true meaning of leadership. Leadership can be poor, ineffective, and sometimes evil (you can think of plenty of examples), but lousy leadership is still leadership.
If we define leadership only as good, we may ignore opportunities. Keep in mind that someone can be in a leadership position and not be a good leader, we can pursue the possibility that their leadership skills may be improved. If they have the potential to improve, then we should initiate a plan to help them. However, if we only look for “good” leaders, where are they found? They’re usually not “found” – they’re developed. And there’s the crux, don’t limit yourself by looking for only good leaders to run your organization, develop them.
How Do You Train Leaders?
Are you in a leadership position? Do you “lead” leaders? Have you created a formalized leadership development program that covers policies, procedures, and, more importantly, people skills? It may be easier than you think. One organization I work with holds three 30-minute leadership development classes per month. That 1 and 1/2 hour a month has changed their culture. Leaders lead people. People enjoy being led by leaders who serve. It shows you care, which makes for a happier workplace, and happy employees are more productive. That’s only part of why you need a leadership development program. Lead the way.
Why Your Organization Needs a Leadership Development Program
- Keep management on the same page
- Develop future leaders
- Attract and retain talent
- Improve the bottom line
- Build a culture of support and caring
So, does your business have a management training plan? Because if not, many organizations and college courses use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out. It works.
How Can I Help You?
I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me.
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash