Chief Executive recently published an article titled, “How Peer Networks Can Help CEOs Become Better Leaders.” Here’s a key paragraph.
“Being a CEO, a business owner or a president means that everyone is depending on you for advice and decisions. However, when companies face major challenges, business leaders are often left with no one to consult with. But CEOs are not alone. The lack of an internal supporting network for business leaders has been supplemented by the growth of peer networks. These groups create a community of peers, all of whom are business leaders.”
The article is about formal peer support networks created by several organizations and mostly for CEOs. Some of them are listed in CEO’s publication, “The Guide to CEO Peer Networks.” There’s no reason why peer support should be limited to CEOs or large organizations. Why not consider making peer support a feature of your leadership development.
Leadership development best practice
In 2014, Training Industry magazine published Ken Taylor’s article: “The First Step in Leadership Training.” Taylor set out to discover what made effective training for new leaders. He identified the best subject matter and several best practices. One of those best practices was supplementing the training with peer support networks so that new managers “continue to learn from other managers.”
Leadership development and peer support
Peer support can be one of the most potent features of your leadership development program. Most such programs have regular meetings when new and experienced managers can discuss important issues and invite experts to make presentations. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Leadership development just in time
We like to talk about just-in-time learning as a process of learning from books or videos that are readily available. But, in the real world, the first place a new manager will go for help is a more experienced manager whom he or she knows. Peer support programs establish relationships so that the new manager with a question can quickly and easily find an experienced manager who may have the answer.