Leadership Development in 2019: What will you do differently?

January 9, 2019 by Wally Bock

Leadership development can’t stand still. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get the results you’ve always gotten.” Various internet sites and blogs attribute that quote, or something very much like it, to a variety of people, including Anthony Robbins and Albert Einstein, plus “an ancient Chinese proverb,” and “Anonymous.”

Whoever said it first, and however they said it, it has the ring of truth. If you do things in your leadership development program the same way in 2019 as you did them in 2018, you will get the same results. Is that what you want?

If you want different results, do something different. What? Here are four questions to help you do things differently, along with suggestions for answers.

Leadership Development: What Will You Stop Doing in 2019?

You won’t have time or energy or budget for new stuff unless you stop doing some old stuff.

I suggest you stop doing those comprehensive multi-day leadership training programs. They cost a bunch of money, suck up your managers’ time, and make little difference in performance.

Leadership Development: What Will You Do More of in 2019?

Look around your leadership development program for the high-leverage activities. Then, put more time, money, and energy into them.

I suggest more emphasis on coaching. Workers want it, and it can make a big difference in performance.

Leadership Development: What Will You Do Less of in 2019?

This analysis looks for the opposite of the last question. There are things you’re doing that don’t seem to have much impact on performance. Identify little things you can cut back or cut out that will make a difference.

Look at the “requirements” for selecting people for positions. Most of the companies I’ve seen put way too much emphasis on things like grade point average and education level, not enough on what people can do. If you must use things like grade point average, use them as a tiebreaker.

Leadership Development: What Will You Start Doing in 2019?

I saved this one for last because it’s the opposite of our first question. I suggested you stop doing some big, time-consuming, and expensive programs. Don’t replace them with other big, time-consuming, and expensive programs. Use the resources you free up by stopping big things to do lots of experiments. Try out different aspects of just-in-time training, peer support teams, special coaching during the transition from individual contributor to manager. You can think of others.

Bottom Line

If you continue to do things the way you’ve always done them, you’ll get the results you’ve always gotten. So, don’t do that. Make 2019 the first year you do things differently than you’ve done them before.

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Leadership Development

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