The Point: At Tip of the Spear, we’ve seen a lot of leadership development programs that have cost $Millions to conduct (Yes, that’s $Millions with an ‘M’). Typically, these programs are offered by some large, stale consulting firm that has had ‘career consultants’ (read that as those that have never lead a team/business, only worked at the consulting firm). We’re often called in afterwards to ‘mop up the leadership mess’ when the leaders that went through the leadership development training can’t drive the business forward. In this post, we’ll take a look at three (3) targets you should focus on achieving in leadership development, as well as three (3) results you should expect… Enjoy!
So Much Development (A Waste!)… So Little Time!
You fly your best candidates for future leadership (sometimes referred to in the leadership development community as those assessed as ‘high potentials’ or HIPOs) into a training center environment once a month for a year to receive leadership development. They spend a week in solitude, learning from academics about leadership methodology, working in teams to analyze case studies, and role-playing “If I was the leader” scenarios in a ‘friendly’ classroom environment. Hundreds of thousands of dollars ($$$,$$$) are spent on each candidate. So what do you receive in return? Is it an elite leadership squad, ready to handle any/all challenges to drive the business forward? We doubt it…
What’s Your Leadership Development Target?
Ask yourself, or your Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) or even your Chief Learning Officer what the targets were for leadership development. Typically, you’ll receive an answer that’s akin to ‘To broaden the skill set of the leader in training to align with the challenges of today, as well as tomorrow.’
That sounds good, but what will you focus on? At Tip of the Spear, we believe that you’ll hit every target if you never aim… Because any attempt will do/suffice! In other words, if you don’t have specific targets in mind, you’ll always be lulled into a false send of leadership security by thinking that you’ve hit your target.
The Leadership Challenge: Three Targets to Aim For!
Your development offering should look to target the following broad-based targets:
- Engaging Teams (Those directly overseen, as well as those with parallel support)
- Satisfy Customers (You can go grandiose and identify how to delight, but asking a customer if they had a satisfactory experience, would they come back for retention capture, and if they’d advocate on your behalf to friends/colleagues should suffice)
- Driving Strategy (Think of this as the all too important implementation phase of change management)
NOTE: You can/should drill-down on these topics so that they are not only department specific, but specific to each of the leader’s being developed subject matter expertise.
Results Matter… You Better Manage Them!
To get results from your talent development initiative, we recommend that you follow the following four-step process:
- Anchor initiative to business goals
- Map out learning journeys that not only diagnose, but develop leadership skills
- Transition leaders to the next level as soon as possible
- Prove impact through key performance indicator (KPI) measurement and sustain results through proper management
What Results Should You Expect?
So in the end, we know that results are all that matter… But what results should you expect? We typically look to provide the following three leadership development results:
- The Right Leaders Prepared
- Ready for Business and changes Therein
- In the Right Locations at the Right Time Where You Need Them!
I hope you enjoyed the post. If so, don’t forget to click on the ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons and tell others who may find it useful. Also, I would love it if you would take a minute to comment on this post (That’s the BEST encouragement for me to continue to write and share!)
PS – You may also enjoy some of the other recent posts I wrote:
- What’s Inside Your Leadership Time Capsule?
- The Leadership Challenge: 10 Characteristics to Develop Your Executive Presence
- The Leadership Challenge: Happy New Year! Now What?
- Leadership Amnesia: Should You Forget the Past to Move Forward to a Better Future?
- The Leadership Challenge: Are Your SMART Goals DUMB?
- The Leadership Challenge: Are You Climbing the Leadership Mountain?
- The Leadership Challenge: They Want You To Fail! 8 Leadership Tips to Overcome Failure
- The Leadership Challenge: Do You Exercise Your Moral Muscle?
- The Leadership Challenge: Conducting Post-Mortem Reviews
Sam Palazzolo is the Managing Director at Tip of the Spear Ventures, an agile Venture Capital and Business Advisory Services firm specializing in Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, and Communication Skills Training for Leaders.