This season, give your employees the gift of developed leaders. Give the gift of developing their potential to grow into key performers within your organization. Leadership development doesn’t happen by chance. This must be a deliberate focus by an organization. It takes time, it takes effort, and it takes an investment. However, the research and studies support the massive ROI on effective leadership development strategies implemented in all types of organizations.
1. Identify the key attributes your organization needs in its leaders.
Don’t settle for generalities here. Be specific. What separates average managers from impactful leaders at your company? Are these attributes, characteristics, competencies, and/or skills (which include both hard and soft skills) observable, assessed or measured? Are leaders held accountable for truly being effective?
This identification process requires the need for specific discussions to determine what to agree on, and often a third-party facilitator is used to expedite the process and to help really vet and identify the most essential elements, including the answer to the question of what is the leadership culture we aspire to be?
2. Identify the leaders and their needs, and provide the means to address the gaps.
This is often most effectively done by developing and using a 360-assessment feedback process utilizing a confidential written survey or verbal feedback to collect your data. Again, this is no time for generalities. Be specific with what is being measured. Ensure anonymity from participants so that you receive the purest feedback, and don’t make this a checklist item that is forgotten as soon as it’s completed.
Using a third-party firm that specializes in providing feedback to leaders, will relieve much of the administrative burden of conducting a thorough review process. It will also ensure that the ‘feedback review sessions’ are done in a professional, confidential, impartial, and impactful manner. You don’t want this part of the process left to chance. I’ve seen 360 feedback poorly delivered, and it resulted in absolutely no positive improvement by the leaders! Help your leaders know ‘what’s next’.
Another tool that is incredibly effective for self-awareness, is The Predictive Index® (PI®) behavioral assessment. The behavioral assessment assists participants in understanding their natural styles and how those styles impact their workplace interactions and relationships, and how they approach their work. A leader’s PI will clarify their natural decision-making style, how they communicate, how they deal with details and process, and how they deal with conflict, risk and change. It helps leaders understand their development opportunities indicated in their 360 feedback and how to be more effective as leaders.
3. Support leaders through their development, and hold them accountable for the changes that need to be made.
One of the most damaging steps you can take after all the work of identifying key competencies and collecting critical feedback, is to store it all away in an employee folder somewhere, never to be seen again. That is exactly what average organizations with average leadership teams do. If you want to be exceptional, you must take steps towards allowing your leaders to be vulnerable enough to recognize (often through coaching and training) their development opportunities, and give them the tools and budget to make improvements.
Hold your leaders accountable for these necessary changes. If you don’t have the bandwidth (another topic for another day), then bring in an executive coach to work with that leader and/or leadership team. Show them that these steps are necessary to excel as a leader at your organization.
Leadership development comes in many shapes and sizes. Models, theories, programs, curricula, etc. are all elements of enhancing the way you support and grow the leaders in your company. What steps have you taken? What steps do you need to take?
MCG Partners is uniquely qualified to assist you with any and all of the steps outlined above. Using a variety of industry leading approaches, our team of experienced coaches and facilitators allow us to work closely with you to develop a custom program for any number of leaders at any level in your organization.
About the Author: Josh Combest
About MCG Partners
MCG Partners a woman-owned, Greater Boston-based consultancy specializing in executive coaching, leadership development, talent management, and organizational development solutions. We help businesses optimize success through the entire management life-cycle. MCG Partners is also a Predictive Index® (PI®) certified partner.