“Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance.” -Ban Ki-moonWise Old Sayings
Why Leadership Development
Leadership is everywhere and for everyone. Yet, many companies and organizations don’t invest the time and resources necessary to develop all of their employees. Why? Because leadership development is either defined as needed for executive leadership, or is simply not including in the budget and strategy of the business or organization.
Yet, when you look at any article or study about improving organizational culture, or reports from the top CEO’s across the country, they all report and agree that leadership development is one of the top priorities.
Leadership development is needed for every employee in every position on every team, and in every business and organization. Everyone, everywhere. Developing leadership skills grows you as a person, both conceptually and practically. And, where there is growth, there is new vision, new creations, and the possibility of transformation.
What Leadership Development
Leadership development is for aspiring leaders, and for those that are currently leading. There are three primary domains necessary to learn to develop for any leader.
When we are open to development, meaning that we recognize the need, we are then coachable. When we are coachable, we can learn, and when we learn, we grow. The ability to grow, to enlarge our containers if you will, is a necessary skill for any leader.
And, when we are open to growth, we can help our teams grow. As you grow, the team grows, and as the team grows, you grow. Reciprocal. What then?
Inside of the three primary developmental domains there are three key areas to develop.
Vision creates possibility. Working inside of a vision is different than simply working toward a goal. People need something to believe in; something that they can derive inspiration from, and create from within. Meaning they can make the vision their own.
Strategy ensures that the there is a plan for the vision. Developing a plan, for instance, on how you will connect your 10-year or 5-year-vision to the work-of-the-day creates consistency across the team or organization.
Execution brings the vision and strategy into reality. I’ve often said, “without execution, vision and strategy are mere concepts.” Part of the overall strategy must include a plan on how the vision will become reality. It takes understanding each team member’s strengths, including your own, and developing systems that reinforce culture and metrics. Both are needed and necessary.
How Leadership Development
As was aforementioned, though everyone and every business and organization knows that leadership development is important, often business and organizations do not prioritize development. The paradox? If you do even a cursory search on leadership development, you will find many people and organizations specializing in leadership development. The issue?
Some of them are conceptual. Meaning that the people conducting the training and coaching are learned about leadership, yet don’t have practical experience of actually leading teams.
Leaders need access to trainers and coaches that have actually created 10-year visions. Who have built strategies around those visions, and developed plans to execute and deliver on those visions. In short, leaders need someone that has lived in the trenches. A person I worked for a long time ago, called it sweat equity.
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