The Problem – “Has my Boss heard this?”

This is a commonly asked question on senior leadership development programmes and one that reveals a serious problem. There is often a disconnect between what the ‘next generation’ of leaders are being taught and what is common leadership practice within the organisation. This can lead to serious repercussions within the organisation and have a detrimental impact on the organisational culture.

The Solution

Decide what is a reasonable amount of time by way of days / hours over the course of a quarter / year and then commit (as an Executive) to be present for that amount of time on select leadership development initiatives in which your company is investing. ‘Showing up’ unannounced and staying for a meal and part of the development programme will send a powerful message to the participants. It will show intent around being a ‘learning organisation’, set a powerful personal example and serve to reinforce the importance of learning. It provides opportunity for the Executive member to hear what is being taught and connect with his / her colleagues. The benefits are numerous and obvious.

Action Points:

  1. Add this to the next Executive agenda
  2. Have available information around upcoming leadership development programmes
  3. Discuss what is a reasonable amount of time to invest in this pursuit (it might vary from person to person)
  4. Commit to select programme and communicate so as to avoid overlap and duplication
  5. Keep the item on the agenda to discuss insights gleaned from having attended the programmes and to hold one another accountable.

Note: When ‘showing up’ at a programme try to include a meal as this allows for informal discussion. Don’t discuss your agenda / business but be intentional around asking the participants about their learning experience and getting their perspectives. When sitting in on a session be sure to introduce yourself to the presenter and avoid active participation in the session unless invited to do so by the presenter.

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