Setting Leaders Up to Fail
By: Heather Hilliard
January 31, 2019 2 min read
While there are those organizations, traditional and entrepreneurial, that recognize leaders need to be developed and systems need to be in place to support high performance leadership, there are just as many who don’t. Interestingly, these same people who disavow the need for leadership development get upset when their next generation of leaders fail to perform to their expectations. They complain about the gap despite their unwillingness to invest in any type of leadership or management development programs for themselves, as well as both current and future leaders.
A Ridiculous Concept
One highly seasoned CEO client who is struggling with under-performing executives and an under-performing organization believes that these key leaders just “need more time” in their roles to “get it”. He is not alone in his beliefs that leadership happens by osmosis. While it seems a ridiculous concept, many senior leaders still act like a leader’s knowledge can simply be transferred to others without the benefit of verbal and written communication, or any type of planned training process to develop a new leaders’ skills. It also ignores the reality that many leaders have developed their own bad habits, in which case mimicking your boss will only serve to perpetuate ineffective leadership practices.
Senior Leaders Must Develop Too
Senior leaders must get out of the way of next gen leaders getting training and experience, and stop setting leaders up to fail. They also need to be prepared to develop themselves. Leadership development initiatives are doomed to fail without senior leadership buy in and participation. We have seen this time and again. When a senior leader doesn’t know how to mentor, feels threatened or offended by the new things his direct report is suggesting (“Why don’t we have an agenda and a chairperson for our meetings, so they don’t go off the rails.”) and shuts it down with a devaluing comment, it can undo even the best leadership training.
Are your senior leaders getting in the way of the development of your next gen leaders?
What are the best reasons you have heard for not training your company’s leaders?
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Caliber Leadership Systems is a Toronto-based leadership consulting and training firm that specializes in helping leaders and organizations to achieve their potential. Visit us to learn more about our leadership development & coaching programs or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.
Re-posted on Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard’s LinkedIn Page – January 31, 2019
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