Are leadership programmes producing good leaders? If you’re shipping your potential leaders to an off-campus leadership seminar, chances are you’re not getting the results you’d like to.
Many leadership courses and trainings focus on a proprietary “method” or system. They’re products like any other, and it may or may not be beneficial to your company. But they definitely won’t be customised to your unique company’s unique needs.
A better way to create leaders is to develop them not just for general leadership roles but for YOUR leadership roles. You want them to be prepared to take positions specifically with your company.
The 70-20-10 concept has been around since the late 1990’s and is widely considered the best method of leadership training. It involves 70% on the job training, 20% mentorship and 10% coursework.
In this model, the courses that company leaders are often so focused on becoming more of an amplifier for the actual hands-on work. Senior level leaders act as mentors to up-and-coming talent usually via one-to-one meetings. They may also receive reverse mentoring. And give potential leaders projects to take charge of so that they can develop their leadership skills.
However, though this model makes sense, there are still challenges to overcome.
Women in Leadership
Women were making great strides in achieving equity in the workplace prior to the pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, however, women left the workforce at greater rates than men due to childcare, and many of those women aren’t returning. One of the largest groups of women impacted was women in senior management.
The progress that was lost in the effort to achieve gender equity will likely take decades to recover. Still, your company can beat the statistics by identifying potential leaders among the female employees in your company and providing them with training and development.
Also keep in mind that if your potential female leader is a mother, it is likely that she bears the brunt of the unpaid labour in her family. The only way to unlock her true leadership potential is to also provide her with the support she needs to be able to achieve a healthy work-life-balance. Trust us, she’ll pay back that flexibility in engagement and dedication!
The Informal Leadership Balance
A great way for your company to develop leaders is by giving them informal leadership positions. This gives them the opportunity to lead a team or project. And you can assess their potential as a future supervisor or manager.
The trick is to provide helpful communication and support. In one survey, participants expressed that they were experiencing increased stress and exhaustion due to their informal leadership roles. Further research indicated that this exhaustion occurred primarily in participants whose managers failed to acknowledge their work.
It’s important for you to find that balance between micro-managing and ignoring. Informal leaders need guidance and support along with the space to prove themselves. By providing coaching, clear guidelines and a feedback loop, you empower your potential leader to develop and apply their skills.
Time and Financial Restraints
Small to mid-sized companies, in particular, tend to hire from the outside more due to a perceived lack of resources for developing leaders from within. Yet, with a little creativity, you can not only train potential leaders, but also solve some of your more immediate issues.
You can use on-the-job training to put potential leaders in charge of immediate problems. This solves two issues at once. It can also allow you to scale by making use of the human resources within your company to grow your profits.
By keeping your leadership training in-house, you have a lot of potential to grow leaders from within. This way helps your company in the short term and gives you a long-term potential for success.
When you grow your leaders from within…
You strengthen your company culture as well as your recruitment and retention numbers. Your employees will be more likely to take ownership of their own development and success and the company’s success.
Contact us and see how we can support you building high-performing teams where trusting leaders and highly engaged employees are laser focused on achieving common goals.