When it comes to business, people and disruption, there is never a shortage of needs for leadership development.
However, in the sea of opportunities, where does one start?
I suggest an initial conversation assessing current conditions.
- What’s driving change in our business now and what are the long-term issues we face?
- Who are now vs. who do we want to be in the face of change?
- What performance improvement needs can address these changes/issues?
- What known/unknown barriers stand in the way of moving forward?
Based on your findings, you can work with a professional coach (distinct from a consultant or advisor) to identify blind spots, initial and subsequent strategies. While there is no single best solution, these three leadership development areas address both the individual as well as the system.
1. Infuse courage into your culture.
With the pace of change, it takes courage skills to move away from status quo and into new territory. It is not enough to say, “we want change in our business” without changing the people. Systemic change generally means…yes…you too! Just like a stuck relationship, a business will only change when mindsets shift, actions with accountability are taken and attitudes of possibilities are awakened. We always start from the top.
2. Build bench strength.
Growing leaders from ‘within’ a system and ‘within’ one’s self is a smart and efficient way of filling critical gaps and minimizing momentum losses when the business game changes. Stretch assignments, mentoring, peer-exchange, cross-functional teaming are just a few ways to keep business going as leaders move up or out of the organization. A weak bench leads to perpetual problems.
3. Make room for mistakes.
The gift of coaching many leaders from different backgrounds is identifying themes. One trend I’ve observed is leaders putting too much emphasis on wanting to be seen as “the expert”. Let me just dispel this myth – EVEN IF YOU ARE THE EXPERT, JOBS ARE NEVER SAFE. What we are needing in this incredible time of disruption and innovation are leaders who are empowered to take risks. Through coaching, many leaders discover that mistakes are an integral part of growth and innovation. My favorite story that demonstrates the power of mistakes is owned by 3M Post-It notes.
Finally, as you explore leadership development for your team and business be clear in defining what it means to your organization at different stages. Your coach can help guide your steps in operationalizing leadership development, and crafting an action-based strategy that helps you improve awareness, vision and decision-making; while learning new skills to overcome challenges and setbacks.
For more information around leadership development or team coaching, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.