How Does Leadership Development Work?
Leadership Development requires a different layer of communication than most individuals, teams and corporations are familiar with. People are asked to turn inside first, then take their discoveries "outside" to the working environment. For example, if something is not working well within an organization, the first step of evaluation for the leadership development model is to look at "me" first. What is going on with ME? What am I doing that impacts this group, and is reflected in this organization? What are MY motives? How are MY behaviors, MY thoughts, MY actions, MY attitudes contributing to this situation? For every person involved in this evaluation, the process is the same - ME first. The key questions used in these evaluations are "what was the intent?" and "what was the impact?" Then, what are the gaps between intent and impact? Both personal and professional issues are explored, as most often they are interrelated. The process sometimes requires talking about things that haven't ever been talked about before.
After honest and initial evaluations, leadership development requires an accountability system, where someone steps into a relationship with another to hold him or her accountable, and continue to encourage him/her to challenge themselves from the inside out. This person is usually a mentor, a coach, or a higher up person in the leadership system. For the best results, an experienced executive coach can provide the impartial and trained input to stimulate the greatest growth.
Part of the coaching process involves challenging personal decisions, assumptions, beliefs and attitudes in order to encourage the leader to think outside that proverbial box-to approach things from a different perspective, be open to new ideas, to be upfront.
Leadership Development also looks at an organization from a much larger picture. Every aspect of an organizational "problem" is investigated, and honest answers are encouraged from all individuals involved.
While a large part of good leadership is to go after situations immediately that require "cleanup," leadership development is not limited to problem solving or situational conflict. The greater goal of this part of training and coaching is to shift managers into real leaders. Leadership development is character development. Managers become leaders who guide, encourage, and model the characteristics required to be true leaders - for the leaders of tomorrow. They are people who care about people and genuinely want others to succeed.
Unfortunately, until recently, this has been a much too uncommon attitude in the corporate environment. But business is changing, and "management" must change with it. People are the greatest resources of any organization, and it is time they were "led" not "managed." True leadership insures continued success in the competitive marketplace.
Leadership Development is not limited to those who are currently "managers" needing to make the shift to "leadership," or to corporate environments where a problem exists requiring a solution. The processes described here are also an excellent way for those who already function as good leaders to become great leaders. Executive coaching around leadership development can stimulate amazing growth and opportunity for new levels of achievement and leadership.