Leadership development: The Expert Next Door

November 2, 2016 by Wally Bock

For a couple of decades, I was one of those people that companies brought in to help their developing leaders learn a thing or two. In my case, the thing or two was about the one-on-one parts of leadership. I did a good job, but it was always a challenge to learn about the organization and the industry and its special supervisory challenges.

I think too many companies have an “expert fetish.” Somehow, we’ve gotten it into our heads that “experts” from outside can do a better job of helping our people learn a thing or two about the jobs they do and aspire to. That’s an awful waste of talent.

Leadership development and the expert next door

The book, The Millionaire Next Store made the case that there were lots of millionaires among us. That’s true of expert leaders for your company. You don’t have to scour the web for them and then pay big fees plus expenses. You’ve got top-notch expert leaders and sales people right there, overflowing with knowledge that works in your very own company and industry.

Leadership development and street cred

The truth is that people everywhere “know” that their company situation is different. They’re right, at least in part. When I would go into an organization for the first time, the challenge was always to demonstrate street cred. I had to be able to demonstrate that, even though I came from beyond the corporate wall, I understood how they were different and what that meant and how they could do better.

Don’t pass on the opportunity to use the most knowledgeable teachers you will ever find in your leadership development program. Seek out your own experts and help them share what they know.

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

Posted in Leadership Development

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