Developing Leaders While Doing Real Work

There is an incredible amount of money spent each year by organizations of all kinds on management and leadership development. Although every organization would like money spent on manager and leader development to come back to them in improved performance results most of the time that doesn?t happen.

What?s going on?

When the efforts to develop leaders and managers is not connected with driving real business results in real time the challenges of the day to day business get in the way of applying what has been learned in a separate environment.

What?s the solution?

Combine leader and manager development with the process of goal setting, alignment, action planning and performance feedback. In other words, change the idea of performance management to performance development. Applying this solution combines the benefits of a workshop with one on one coaching in the service of doing real work. The real work referenced here is implementing a clear process for determining what it will take to achieve the goals of the organization, where everyone fits to support the big picture, how and when feedback will be provided to maintain accountability at all levels and how success will be measured and celebrated. In other words, doing the real work of getting results while developing leaders and managers.

Who will do this developmental work? When initially implemented the support of an experienced leadership development coach will likely be needed; however, the long term ongoing responsibility will rest with current senior leaders. Taking this approach will ultimately clarify the responsibility of leaders to develop future leaders.

This performance development approach is going to be required, not just nice to have. Today?s workforce will demand the engagement and involvement of organizational leaders in their development.

Current information from Gallup suggests.

Leaders who want to develop their managers into successful leaders must focus on three things.

  1. Establish expectations
  2. Continually coach
  3. Create accountability
  • Only 26% of employees agree their manager is good at helping them set priorities.
  • Only 30 % of employees strongly agree that their boss involves them in setting their goals at work. Those that do agree are 3.6 times more likely to be engaged.
  • 28% of employees say they receive feedback a few times a year, while 19% say they receive feedback once a year or less.
  • Less than half (40%) strongly agree that their boss holds them account table for performance goals.

There is no shortage of articles about the lack of productivity improvement in the U.S. despite incredible strives in technology. However, there is not enough conversation about how to make significant progress in this area. It is very clear to me that the gigantic failure to establish clarity, accountability, alignment, frequent performance feedback and a variety of other basic straightforward actions provides a great opportunity for improving productivity.

It is the responsibility of leaders to develop their people and not pass it off to someone else. We must step back and look beyond the next shinny object or the next quarters performance results of we want to have highly productive organizations. It is also possible that the more engagement and involvement current leaders have in developing future leaders the less unacceptable behavior (harassment, bullying, inappropriate sales practices etc.) we will have as well.

Its time to combine leader and manger development with getting real business results in real time.

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