Leadership development has swallowed the “leader as superior being” Kool-Aid, putting the main emphasis on leadership skills and putting everything else in second place. Leadership development is about developing leadership skills, for sure, but that’s only part of the challenge.
Our challenge is to help men and women prepare for and develop as people who are responsible for the performance of a group. We prepare them to accomplish the mission, make their numbers, through the group. We want them to be capable of helping their team and their team members succeed both today and tomorrow. Leadership is part of that.
Leadership development is about developing the skills and mindsets for three kinds of work
The name of the department or program may be about developing leaders, but the program is about helping people learn to do three kinds of work well. Leadership work is about progress and pace, setting the direction and setting the example. Management work is about juggling priorities and sorting out muddles. Supervision work is the one-on-one part of the job. It’s about helping people do better today and tomorrow.
Leadership development and the realities of the work
If you are a person responsible for the performance of a group, you have to do all three kinds of work. You must lead. You must manage. You must supervise. The only choices you get about doing that work are whether to do things intentionally or unconsciously and whether to do it well or not.
How’s your program doing?
Are you helping men and women develop the skills to help their team and their team members succeed? Are you helping men and women get better and better at meeting the challenges of being responsible for the performance of a group?