It is time to take leadership development to the next level. Time to really rally your troops. It is time that we recognize the value of developing our people. And it is time we stop taking the importance of development for granted.
We need to stop allowing our leaders to sidestep their own development. They claim they are too busy … but I am not buying it. All of the research points to the good that comes when a leader jumps out in front and leads the way. Leaders are most admired when they take initiative and show their people that they buy into the idea of development as beneficial for them, and for the company. While to many of us this is common sense, it is not common practice.
All too often, we talk about critical skill gaps. We talk about the need to develop our internal talent. But our leaders are NOT walking the walk. They are skipping right on by. Thinking that development is not for them, that they do not need the development. They act as if they have learned all they can learn, and that with what little time they do have, they have added other responsibilities. I think this is shortsighted. Leadership development has now more than ever become critically important. Our top leaders even claim as much when they talk about the urgency of talent management, and building bench strength in the war for talent.
So leaders, listen up. It is not enough to talk about developing your people. They need to see that you take it just as seriously. That development is a part of your own personal plan; that you are committed to learning something new, and that you are willing to remain open to the experience of learning. If you want your people to become up-skilled, find the time first for yourself. Make time to learn something new and bring your learning back to your people. Take the lead by empowering and encouraging them to do the same.
For those of us in the leadership space, it is high time to start developing relevant and worthwhile learning initiatives. We need to find ways to better equip our current and future leaders, we need to shake up the way that we do things and how we operate. It is time to start a learning revolution. Gain the buy in from the top and then drive it all the way down. Your most valuable asset is your people, which includes you too as their leader.
Are you a leader who actually walks the development talk?
If not, what is keeping you from taking the first step in the right direction?