Develop leaders before you need themposted at 18:31 PM on 06/02/2011
In March, we began the process of developing a leadership development program aimed at emerging leaders at the Knowland Group with the expressed goal of preparing potential leaders to be ready for management roles in the near future of their careers. We discovered that as a fast growing company, filling leadership roles can be taken for granted. An organization can spend so much time filling sales, service, and technical roles to grow and support the business, and at the same time assume that simply promoting the "smart ones" to leadership roles is the way to go.
The problem is that not all high performers are suited or interested in leadership roles, and if you promote those people, high performers can become underperformers, become unhappy, and performance suffers.No one is happy. We wanted to avoid this trap and develop leaders so they would be prepared to takeon new roles in the future.
We are just about to wrap up our pilot program, I thought I would take this opportunity to share a success story. two weeks after a class called "How to run an effective meeting," one of the team leads who completed the class Skyped me this message:
"I LOVE THE AGENDA. It kept me on target and on time."
One of the things learned in that class was to always use an agenda for a meeting. Believe it or not, the learners were skeptical at first. They said, "Bill, you know, I am not sure I would take the time to write an agenda like this for every meeting."
This learner went on to say:
"The meeting could have been an hour with all the topics being covered but we were able to keep things moving and finish in 30 minutes. I will use this agenda template for all of our meetings."
This exchange made my day, so see a leader take on something they learned, even though they were skeptical and give it a try. It might not be a ground breaking discovery, but when an aspiring leader learns something new and sees how it can improve their work, you can imagine how this inspires them to want to learn even more about how to be a better leader. There is no telling how far we can go from here.