The Point: Here at the Tip of the Spear ‘The Point!’ blog we have highlighted the importance of investing in leadership development. We have also talked about how effective leadership development is in terms of ROI (such as with Executive Coaching). But all these benefits are only possible if the leadership development is approached in the right manner. In this post, we list four tips to make a leadership development endeavor successful… Enjoy!
#4 Measure Results
More often than not, the effectiveness of a leadership development program is judged by the satisfaction of the executives. While there is nothing wrong in using satisfaction as a criterion, Bbut satisfaction doesn’t always guarantee effectiveness. In fact, satisfaction can also mean that executive wasn’t challenged at all during the development training. Money wasted. The same is true when you only use participant feedback. In this scenario, the trainee will learn to game the system and perform in a specific manner simply to ‘pass the test’.
That is why it necessary to use effective systems to track progress and measure changes in the leader’s behavior over time. If participant feedback proves to be ineffective, imagine the implications ofconsider using 360 degree-feedback, where the results of the training exercises are shared with others. Of course, you can still say that the leader will only perform under the fear of negative feedback in this case as well, instead of experiencing genuine behavioral changes. But more on this in a while.
In the long run, the true measure of leadership development success is productivity boosts, cost savings, improved job satisfaction, and increased profits.
#3 Personal Development
While leadership training focuses on improving the corporate performance of managers and executives, many a times this involves prying a little in the trainee’s personality as well. Sometimes, a reluctance to change and improve as a leader often stems from the person’s mind-set. Employees, fellow managers, and even the board of directors don’t feel comfortable in addressing these issues, but this is where a leadership coach comes in. He will identify the root cause of why the leader is acting in the way he does, which may prove to be a little discomforting at first (see the point on satisfaction above), but this is necessary. Maybe the person is an introvert, or he has trust issues. These need to be resolved so that company objectives are fulfilled.
#2 Context is King
Many things come under the leadership umbrella: writing, speaking, listening, body language, confidence, personal grooming, emotional intelligence, and so on. You may excel at some of theseleadership skills, while lack at others. The key is to identify which areas of your leadership persona are most relevant to the company’s overall goals (or current strategic needs), and then to determine which of these skills need improvement. For best results, leadership training should only be focused on 1-2 core areas.
#1 Development on the Job
Finally, considering that the leader is the most crucial element in the organizational structure, it is hard to determine the mode of training. Should he take some time off work, be trained after work, or during the job? Every option has its pros and cons, but theThe third one seems to be the best, considering that this will not affect the company’s operations in any way. For example, if the trainee is an introvert and he needs to make a presentation on the company’s financial progress in the last quarter, the coach can teach him how to face a crowd with confidence. Thus, he is not only being trained while working, but the quality of his work will improve in the process. Not to mention, you will get feedback from the very people you are leading.
Once again, the only way in which leadership training can succeed is when it is approached with the right frame of mind. Underlying issues need to be identified, the training should be contextual, and most importantly, there should be a robust method to track results.
If you’d like more information about Tip of the Spear’s Business Advisory Services, consisting of Centered Executive Coaching, Leadership Development through ‘The Leadership Challenge’ methodology, and Communication Skills Training for Leaders use the CONTACT US page of this website.