The best leadership development activities put you in the position of being a leader or having to lead. Yet most traditional leadership programs focus on learning about leadership. You want your leaders to lead, not be experts on leadership. There is a big difference. Focus on learning experiences where your leaders practice being leaders in real and simulated environments.
Results versus Reasons
You want leaders who are accountable. You want to choose learning opportunities that reinforce the leadership behaviors that lead to results. You want the tolerance for reasons to fade. You want leaders who refocus conversations away from reasons and back to how the team can produce results. You want leadership development that makes these choices clear to your leaders.
Optimize Business Results at the Core of Your Leadership Program
Too much leadership training fails to deliver business results. The focus is on the wrong things. Leaders are to cause results and cause their team members to be leaders. Instead, leadership training uses Powerpoint slides which allow the trainer and the participants to avoid having to be leaders in the real world.
You want to link business results and business outcomes to your leadership sessions. You want your leaders to lead through experiences of building a new strategy together or collaborating to create a shared plan to close the gaps. You want your leadership development to improve business results AND increase the capacity of your leadership team to produce results in the future. Never forget that results are the point of leadership.
Unique Design for Your Leaders
Avoid off-the-shelf. You want a proven framework that integrates your business results and challenges into the learning program for your leaders. Immersing leaders in the business challenges while learning leadership skills combines the skill with application. You want your skill development linked to leading. Otherwise, you end up with academic learning with no application back to your work environment. Leadership skills MUST be integrated into situations where leaders face choices and challenges. You want a unique-to-you design for your business based on your leaders. Make sure any leadership program design links to leading through your actual business challenges, produces business results, and engages leaders to be the solution.
Stop telling leaders about leadership concepts and leadership skills. Instead, put them insimulated business challenges that immerse them in a world where they have to lead. Integrating leadership inside a simulation is actually quite easy and effective. We’ve designed a dozen leadership simulations that allow you to integrate your business outcomes and your leaders’ needs into the leadership development. You want to make sure there is an element of leadership simulation or application – otherwise you are likely wasting a lot of money. You want an environment where leaders need to produce results in specific time frames or challenges.
Measure, Measure, Measure
You want a way to measure the impact of your leadership investment. Business results are the best measure. In the Million Dollar Leadership Challenge, your leaders produce $1 million in bottom line results. They prove their impact on the business. Another approach is the Culture Gap Index where you can quickly assess the culture of your team, your department or your whole organization. Then you can see what gaps exist and target those culture gaps through your leadership development. Plus this gives you actual numbers to prove the impact of your leadership activities to executives. You want measurement because the measurement holds your leaders accountable for their behaviors and results they produce. Keep them honest.
You want your leaders to lead, not be experts on leadership.
Benefits / Outcomes of Leadership Development
- Create a foundation for developing future leaders
- Practice leadership as a way of “being”
- Inspire loyalty, trust, and support
- Identify leadership skills in others