Leadership development is not merely acquiring knowledge from reading books or attaining an MBA. Leadership is the transition from talented or technical individual contributors to those that can clarify aspirations, not just deliver the assessments of the company’s current reality. The process of becoming a true ‘leader’ is a journey that mandates commitment, discipline, passion, competency; and, an awareness of social relationships, personally and professionally. It is not a one-time retreat or rally building weekend.
As companies develop their own leadership cultivation programs, here are key factors to remember:
- Leadership is not the property of individuals or departments. Most programs require the participants to be away from their current job for a period of time, attending structured classes, participating in projects to polish expertise, or to be on some form of revolving assignment for growth.
- Leaders introduce levels of change that can be uncomfortable for colleagues. Returning leaders validate older conversations that worked in the past; but, can now identify where they need to go forward in creating new domains for conversations. They may bring in new vocabulary or expressions that peers may not have previously heard.
As you develop your next generation of leaders, ask yourself:
- How will you design your leadership’s social system to honor a mix of values eliminating the ‘one value-one strategy’ approach in any new programs?
- What is the plan for a continued shared future as markets and economics may change? Will there be quarterly meeting or annual retreats between the leaders and their direct reports?
- How are you assessing the capabilities of the rising managers for flexibility and adaptability in the coming future?
Great too hear your thoughts and comments on this one.