The benefits of developing smart, ‘New World’ leaders for the 21st Century are huge in today’s business environment. Doreen Yarnold gives you the seven developmental stages necessary to reach that goal.
If you are a senior leader looking to develop your business leaders into capable, competent and credible 21st Century leaders, this blog may be of interest.
Firstly, believe that it is worth doing and that the benefits are exponential.
It has never been more important than it is today for organisations to have commercially savvy leaders who know how to manage and lead their business through constantly changing times and turbulent business climates. Most CEOs seem to know it’s a necessity, but few of them are doing much about it.
There are 7 stages to making sure business leaders are heading in the right direction. They are:
Define the leaders’ role in terms of knowledge, skills and qualities. Better still, get them to do it and then discuss what they produce, adding in any elements you feel have been missed. If you would like a check sheet of key leadership elements that should be included, email Leading Results director Doreen Yarnold at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can help.
Know Your leaders’ capabilities today. This always seems far more arduous than it needs to be. Again, if you would like some ideas on how to achieve this, use the contact details above.
Identify the gaps (from Stage 1). This measures the ideal (from Stage 1) to the reality (Stage 2).
Agree a development plan with the leader that plugs the gaps in their development. Introduce a timeline and clear expectations of when and how this plan will roll out with identifiable milestones that are measurable.
State the support you will provide throughout the programme of development. This should take the form of regular review meetings, mentoring, coaching and perhaps shadowing either by you or someone else.
Review regularly and never cancel a review. Postpone them if you must but never cancel, and only where something urgent and important has come up that cannot be avoided.
Ensure that your feedback is constructive. Better still, ask the leader how they think they are doing against the details laid out in their development plan. See where they may not have reached a particular milestone and discuss how they intend to bridge the gap. Asking questions is always more powerful than ‘telling’.
Ensure your leaders own their own development plans. These should be dynamic work-in-progress documents (e-docs) that are continually added to and updated.
When organisations foster and embrace the concept of ‘leader development planning’ it soon becomes a cultural norm which cascades and permeates throughout the business as a whole.
Think of leader development as the leverage that drives improved results. Holding leaders accountable for the results they achieve is only half the story, holding them accountable for their own development is where the smart money is.
Read more: Five ways to maximise your team’s energy