Develop Your Leaders
Ensuring leaders have the skills and support they need is key to the success of your strategy. They probably have the necessary technical skills, or you wouldn’t have promoted them to a leadership role. But do they have the interpersonal, communication and relationship building skills they need to be successful? According to a study by Harvard University 85% of job success is dependent upon soft skills. Also making sure that senior leaders are aligned around the change you’re making will either make it or break it. Do they have what it takes to have those most challenging conversations, hear and accept other perspectives and find common ground? Do they know how to truly inspire others?
“Natural” leaders may be as mysterious to find and difficult to come by as anything. However, leadership is certainly something that can be developed. Even more important is developing leadership within a organizational context. Clarifying and articulating your leadership story and how it connects to the organizational story is what makes the difference.
Now Is the Best Time To Prepare
A person is hired with the perfect skill set for the job. They perform at a high level and are trusted with greater responsibilities. Again they perform well, rising to the occasion. They work well on the team. They adapt. They grow. They shine. They get promoted. Now they become responsible for a team. Plooof! They implode. They have the requisite skills. They’ve show the ability to take on more responsibility. What happened? Leadership is a very different skill set. Managing people, inspiring them, engaging them, getting them to work together are all different skills from an individual contributor, and different from the skills for which they were hired. The story has changed, but has the person changed with it?
Leadership & Stories
The aforementioned employee, promoted to a manager role, luckily has a good leader. They receive good guidance and direction. They get good training on basic management skills. They perform well. Their team performs well. Their team grows. They take on responsibility for more than one team. All is good. Then they’re promoted to an executive level. Gloooosh! They fall into the deep end of the pool and tread water. What happened? Now they have to think in a different way, have a different mindset, stick their head way up above the clouds and see a much broader perspective. They are operating in a different story. Have they changed with it?
Guided leadership requires more experienced leaders as their boss. This is why developing and enhancing leadership guidance is so critical to a vision and plan for leadership development. This requires a totally new vision, a new story of leadership for many organizations. Crafting a vision, system and structure for leadership development is part of the VN&Co story.